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Friday, July 19, 2013

Wonder Years

Every summer, when we hit that mid-way point and start to prepare for my kids to go back to school, I think back to my school age years and the summers that went with them. I think back to getting excited about the look of new notebooks and pencils and a chance to get new clothes and shoes. I think back to the summers' nearing end of hackling with my sisters over who had to wash the last of the spoons. I am the middle child, the middle girl. My older sister, Sherry, is two years older and my younger one, Lisa, is five years younger. We spent our summers at home. My mama and daddy both worked and the seemed-to-be, never ending days, were spent with the three of us playing house, romping around outside in the woods and then spending the last hour before Mama came home, flying into our "to do" list. Each day, we were expected to do a handful of chores. They weren't much and if they were spread out over the course of the entire day, they wouldn't have been bad at all- but we just weren't those kind of kids. We were the kind to glance at the clock and see it was 3:25 and Mama would get off work at 4:00 and be home exactly at 4:08 each day. We knew we had precisely 43 minutes to fold the laundry, vacuum and get the dishes done or we were "gonna get it". Well, none of us wanted that. We would count the cups, count the pots, count the plates and even the spoons. We would divide them up by three and Heaven forbid if we overlooked one laying in one of our bedrooms and the last one to take their turn washing had to do an extra. We would literally hide the extra one under a pot holder not to have to do one more than the others did. We would have our knock out, drag out fights where we actually would hit and kick and scratch. I was the hitter, Lisa the kicker and Sherry the scratcher. We would agree to make up for the sake of not getting a spanking when Mama got home. We would come up with some sort of story to how we got our wounds and would try to get it by Mama. We spent our summers eating cans of Ravioli and making up games to play. Since me and Sherry were close to the same age, we would do our share of secret sharing and Lisa would get mad. She was the best at working over Mama to feel bad for her. I was the best at arguing. Sherry tended to be the peace maker. Actually, she tended to get ran over more than any of us. I remember feeling so defensive when it came to her, which is odd being I was younger. She was my sister. My confidant. As mad as she made me and as much as her "smacking" when she ate got on my nerves, I loved her. I literally fought for her- a few times. I would for Lisa too, and did, but she had her ways of taking care of herself too. I remember one time when she gave me a "present". We had gotten into an argument during one of those long summer days. She was talking about some girl and called her a "prince". I of course, had to laugh and point out that girls were "princesses", boys were the princes. She swore she had said princess and got so mad at me for laughing at her. We got into a huge argument about it. About an hour later, she brought me a shoe box with a note attached to the top explaining how she was sorry and wanted to let me know how she felt. A sort of peace offering. Well, I opened the box hoping for her best pair of earrings or something. Guess what my surprise was? A turd. No, really. It was an honest to gosh turd... still steaming. She had boxed up crap to let me know how she really felt about me. Yep. She had such a "touching" way with words. Those years, those summers, listening to the dual tape deck with my sisters, jumping off buckets under the water hose (don't try this at home, just ask Sherry how long she had to wear a cast) and practicing braids on each others hair was some of the best years of my life. I remember Sherry's long, angled finger nails digging into my skin in self defense. I remember Lisa's on going requests to play Barbies with her and us making our Barbie Dreamhouse out of a box with not-so-neatly cut windows. I remember us comparing our new bookbags full of goodies during the week before school started. I remember dragging my six year old sister by the hand to get on the bus by an eleven year old me when she was so nervous for her first day of first grade. I am so thankful for those summers with my sisters. Now that we are grown with kids of our own, I can't help but smile when I see one of my kids carrying a shoe box to one of their siblings rooms and just wondering what may be inside... maybe I have it all wrong. Maybe these are my "wonder years" instead. :)

1 comment:

  1. I'm still laughing! You told on me for lying. You deserved the turd! lol! Love you, sis.