A memory

Or rather, a short list of memories I can only slightly remember:

  • Waking up during summer vacation, to windows open in my bedroom, in the house I grew up in. Searching for people. No one was in the house… at that early hour, everyone was outside watering flowers, tending to our garden, or trimming hedges. I remember my bare feet, me still in pajamas, curly blonde hair in disarray, walking onto the concrete sidewalks. The ground made the bottoms of my feet warm.
  • Waiting for my brother to get home from school (pre-elementary school aged me). I would be sitting in front of the TV on the carpet, coloring. I kept all of my crayons in an old square tin that used to hold cookies. Some crayons were broken, others were missing their wrappers. And my brother would walk in the front door and greet me.
  • Reading to my grandmother from a children’s poetry book of old nursery rhymes. This was still the stage I called her, “Meow” instead of “Grandma”.
  • Having large Thanksgiving dinners in the house I grew up in. Having the children’s table be either in the center of the kitchen, or the middle of the living room.
  • Having my dad’s girlfriend over for Thanksgiving dinner one year. We had Boston Market.
  • My grandfather taking me to school in his brown Monte Carlo. I used to say I would take the shiny metal name place that was affixed to the dash because it was animal print. And I liked shiney things.
  • My grandmother taking me to the local park. I’d always go on the swings (she’d push) or this spinning top thing. We’d always stop at the Bird Sanctuary so we could dump out a Ziploc bag of bird seed.
  • If we had leftover bread, my grandma and I would walk to a different park that had a pond. We’d feed the ducks there (and of course I’d go on the playground).
  • I was in 2nd grade when I had appendicitis. My entire class wrote me “Get better” cards. I wish I still had them. My mom went to the school to get them, and delivered them to me in my hospital bed.
  • One year, being particularly selfish, my brother and I said, “That’s all?” after opening our Christmas presents. When we left the room, my mom put $40 in each of our stockings and said we had “missed” something. I will never forget this, nor stop feeling guilty about my 8-year-old self.
  • When I got chicken pox, I was so miserable that I asked my mom if I could “sue” my aunt and uncle for my little cousin transmitting this to me.
  • At my best friend’s house, her half-brother came to visit one day. He asked if we would take off our pants, and then see if we could do a back roll, while laying on our backs. I realized, many years later, that he was a gigantic pervert and this was sexual abuse.
  • The first time I saw Playboy was through cable tv at that same friend’s house.
  • My parents never bought chips, so I’d eat them like crazy elsewhere.
  • I hated pop (soda…same difference). Still do. I also won’t eat mac n cheese.
  • My mom made rice once, before the time of rice cookers. While we were at the dinner table eating, my dad looked at his plate, then got beet red. He was pissed off. Inside the rice, he found little worms, masquerading about. My mom was horrified and my parents got in a huge fight. I brought it up once, many years later, and my mom broke down into tears and asked why I would ever bring that up again.
  • When I would call my grandmother up from her basement apartment to eat dinner with us (both sets of grandparents lived with us growing up), I would yell through the vent in the bathroom, because I thought it was so cool she could hear me that way.
  • Christmas day. 7 people in the house. The presents under the tree. The kid-made coffee. The night-before present-wrapping extravaganza. The kids’ Christmas shows on tv. The holiday music when my mom baked and cooked. Living in the house I grew up in, as a kid, was the best experience of my life. I miss being one complete family.
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~ by shespeakstruth on October 30, 2012.