Saturday, June 16, 2012

June Challenge - Day 16

Day 16 – Childhood Memories

My childhood memories start when I was about 4 and I remember always being with my grandmother. I remember her loving cantaloupe and always giving me some of the juicy fruit to eat. I remember living in the projects and playing outside with my host of friends. I also remember having worms and being scared to go to the bathroom and having to take these nasty pills so they would go away. I remember my grandmother being right there with me and pulling them suckers out. I know TMI, but I remember this. I also remember my grandmother trying to make me eat okra. I sat at the table a long time before she gave up on me eating it. I remember traveling to Detroit with my grandmother to spend time with my uncle. That is my earliest memory of loving the smell of flowers and fresh pears from the tree. I also remember realizing my mother was actually my mama. I didn’t know who she was because I was raised essentially by my grandmother. And in typical fashion, I didn’t call her mama or anything for a long time. I still do that to this day with folks. Some habits are hard to get rid of no matter how hard you try. In my case I didn’t even try. I remember when my mother married my stepfather and all us moving to a house not too far from my grandmother’s house. I remember going to a private kindergarten and didn’t cry like all the other kids. Silly kids. I also remember the only time I ever got in trouble in school was when this nasty little boy was spitting on me and I turned around and told him to stop. The teacher hit my hand with a ruler and I will never forget it because to this day, you better listen to my side of the story before you hit or punish me. I remember when my sister was born and when my brother was born. I remember my grandmother walking me to school which was actually one house and one fire department away down the street from our home. I remember my first boyfriend, Rodney Brown, who walked me home from school when I was in the 1st grade. I mean, we walked side by side and he did pass my house on his way home, he was perfect boyfriend material. LOL! I remember my grandmother dying in October of that year. I remember that was when I really realized my mother was my mama.

My childhood was filled with memories like the above. I had a good childhood and things didn’t really start to look shaky until my teenage years when I saw things in black and white. I saw our lives differently. I enjoyed the integration I experienced in Florida, but it spoiled me when I got to Virginia and we only stayed from November until January. Was possibly one of the most painful times of my life, especially as I was beginning to smell my teenage self. Yet, I can still remember playing mama and daddy with my siblings and cousins and making up games to play while we ate, because I was the oldest and the wisest. I had a good childhood with some unforgettable moments. By the way, I can’t stand the smell or taste of cantaloupe and I still do not touch okra whether it is fried or not, all I remember is the slimy version.

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