Friday, July 25, 2008

Me, When I was Young

I would have been three years old in this picture of me with my baby brother.

My doll was what I called my "Grandma" doll. She was made of very hard plastic and looked old to me. She talked when you pulled her string but I do not recall what she said. Her legs were straight but hinged at the hip so you could move her.

I thought it might be a Mrs. Beasley doll but I looked it up and it is not. So I do not know the doll's real name.

My mother kept me in dresses for a very long time. I hated to get dirty and loved to be prissy and girly, I have been told.

By my pre-teens that was certainly gone. I started wearing blue jeans and never looked back. Today I don't even own a dress, although I will wear skirts.

My hair turned from blond to brown (and now to gray) as I moved through the years.

I recall a few things about those early years. I remember a snake curled around a tree while I was playing, getting sand in my eyes and crying for my grandmother or the fire department (it must've burned like h*ll), and eating a wild onion in the back yard. (And it took me very long time to eat onions again.)

I also remember a box kite flight, my mother fainting in the floor, my father playing guitar, washing the dishes while standing in a chair (I must have been five or younger because we were gone from there by then), and learning that the tooth fairy and Santa Claus were myths.

I figured out the latter because I knocked out my tooth and the tooth fairy left me a 50 cent piece. I found a bowl of 50 cent pieces not long after while I was dusting for my mother. I immediately put it together and told her there was no tooth fairy and no Santa and no Easter Bunny.

I promised not to let my brother know the truth and he was nearly 10 before he found out, I think. He was devastated by the news.

I was a very smart and precocious child and a handful, I suppose. I was reading by the time I was four. I began reading newspapers before the age of six, even if I didn't understand what I was looking at.

I don't remember this but my mother said when I was three I began talking about Scotland and living in a castle and walking in the moors and losing my head in a beheading. She told me once it scared her and she thought I must have been reincarnated.

I wish she had written it down.

I also remember falling and hitting my head; I still have a small and unnoticeable ridge in my forehead where I cracked it.

And then there was the ghost that sat on the edge of my bed at night and the man who was playing poker with my father who shot himself in the leg.

We had two Dalmatians and both of them were run over by the milk truck. They were named Prince and Princess.

And I had a little plastic bank in the shape of Dino the Dinosaur and a blue stuffed puppy dog that I carried around until my brother decided it was his.

I received a blue bike with training wheels when I was five and it had a Batgirl doll sitting on the seat when I woke up that Christmas morning.

I loved kindergarten but hated the first grade because the teacher, Mrs. Zircle at East Salem Elementary School, was very mean. I later was told that her husband had died that year and I was able to forgive her for her many unkindnesses because obviously she was very sad.

And then we moved to the country, where my mother's father grew up, and I became a country girl.


  1. You were a cute kid! It's amazing how much you really remember. I remember so little about my childhood. I really felt for your teacher and it's so kind of you to forgive her.

  2. Obviously you were meant to be a reporter from birth if you recall all this from three years old! A nice, evocative piece.

  3. That might be a Chatty Cathy doll. I had one too. You need to get to Scotland...

  4. A nice trip down memory lane you had here! If you're like me these now feel like another lifetime...I guess it was since all of our cells have been replaced several times by now :-)

  5. I had a grandma-type doll too. It was kinda ugly.

  6. I feel like we all inhabit those old photos. They all look so familiar.

  7. Wow, you really made me remember some things from my own childhood!

    Funny, my cousin also feels the same way about Scotland. Her e-mail is Queen of Scots something and she even went there and researched our ancestors. Some kind of connection is going on. Maybe with you too.


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