There are those who have memories of their youth that rival the adventures of Huckleberry Finn. They possess total recall of their moments of innocence lost. The camping trip when they snuck their first beer, how they got a scar jumping a fence in the middle of the night after TPing a neighbor’s yard, skipping school to go to the pool hall, bowling alley, Canada (my husband’s memory), that one time at band camp…recollections embellished or completely distorted to make us seem brave or at least, less lame.
Those of us who were subdued, if only temporarily, by those who took their Christian duty seriously may remember fewer youthful indiscretions, but it is quite possible we’ve simply blocked them out. My own memories are fragments of angelic wildness and heavenly fury. Yeah, that’s what they are. Not exactly bad, but not entirely good either. Sort of like a Polly Purebred / Wile E. Coyote mashup. The line between right and wrong not always clear, but when you crossed it, you got the belt. Well, some of us did. Some of us got a lecture and then taken out for ice cream.
What I remember most about being a kid is the uninhibited pleasure of playing outside in the rain, running barefoot on hot pavement with a dime and nickel clenched in my hand chasing after the ice cream truck, making necklaces out of long stem clover blooms, spinning round and round until I fell down or threw up carrot cake.
Yeah, I did that…once.
I also remember accidentally tying my brother to a lawn chair so tightly with twine while we were playing cops and robbers that when I slammed the back door where the end of the twine was tied, the chair fell over and my brother started turning blue. I got a serious whipping for that. I once accidentally shaved off my sister’s eyebrows with my dad’s Norelco shaver. I got it pretty good for that too. Accidents, I assure you.
I once “allowed” my youngest brother to get off the school bus to go home with a friend. If you guessed I got in trouble, you’re correct, but I’d outgrown whippings by then I just got grounded for not realizing I was my brother’s keeper. My brother didn’t get in trouble at all. That’s the way it was. I sometimes got in trouble for shit I didn’t even do. Well, except for my smart mouth, that was all me and I usually got back-handed for it.
Yesterday on the way home from my friend Susan’s Easter Palooza, (I took the deviled eggs) my husband and I were talking about possible reasons the Easter bunny stopped visiting me. I don’t remember anything bad I could have done that caused me to be denied a Cadbury egg, but whatever it was, I doubt if I’ve learned my lesson.