Tuesday, June 1, 2010
On Being Little
When I was little I didn't have a favorite color. My favorite color changed all the time. Some days it was purple. Some days it was green. One day I got a yellow towel because that's what I thought was my favorite was. When people would ask me what my favorite color was I would either tell them that I didn't know, or I would make up a color that sounded good and really convincing.
But I didn't have a favorite color. It was devastating. Life-threatening. I must've been the only kid without a favorite color, I thought!
It's funny how little kid minds work. Obviously I wasn't the only kid to not know what her favorite color was, but I sure felt like it.
And when I was six we were selling my mom's car because our little family had outgrown its spacious five seats. We would run errands around town with a black and orange For Sale sign in the back window. I was absolutely petrified that someone was going to come and buy our car while we were out and we would be forced to walk home.
I remember going on vacation to a resort where we got to stay in a cabin with my father's parents and his sister and her family. My cousin and I were sharing a room, and it was really hot in our room. She insisted that the window be open to let in some cooler air, and I insisted that the window stay closed lest a bear pop up out of nowhere and gobble us up! I think I was about nine or so.
Also, I played a lot of pretend when I was little. Other kids have memories of all these movies they watched and all these video games they played and I have memories of pretending to be a little Indian girl. I pretended to be Fern from Charlotte's Web and bring my momma a basket of 'eggs.' I would periodically ask her "Where's Poppa goin' with that ax?"
Some days I was Laura Ingalls Wilder living in a cabin in the woods. I would run around outside barefoot doing all sorts of things that I thought Laura would have done. I pretended my bike was a horse. I even gave her name and rode her around everywhere.
I absolutely loved to pretend I lived on a ranch. I would run around the backyard completing invisible chores like feeding horses, mucking stalls, collecting eggs, herding cattle. Life on my ranch was so busy! I had dogs and cats to take care of and chickens to feed!
My old neighborhood was filled with children around my age and TheKeeper's age. We would do all sorts of outrageous things. We fantasized about starting a neighborhood newspaper until my mother called that one to a screeching halt by asking who was going to pay for all the paper and the ink we used? Thwarted, we moved on to bigger and better things. Like starting our own band.
And by band, we meant 'singing group' because none of us could play an instrument besides faking the keyboard like the good elementary schoolers that we were. We even got in a fight about it and formed two 'rival' bands. We were going to put on concerts the same day and whoever got more people to show up to their concert won bragging rights.
We were going to hit it big for sure.
We climbed tress and hay bales from the farm that lived at the end of our street. We used to feed their cows grass too. But now the farmland is all houses and subdivisions, no little kids riding bikes on the old dirt road and wreaking havoc and running amok.
And by the way, my favorite color is blue.