10 Disappointing Moments of Childhood.
Ryan Bruner suggested that others follow his lead on this subject and I have chosen to do so.
You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll nod and agree.
1.Discovering at the age of three that sitting on the bottom of a garbage can is far from pleasant, even it seemed like a neat hiding place. Screaming for mommy is the best solution to this problem.
2.Receiving seven stitches at the hairline after unsuccessfully performing a daring move at a neighbor’s house. Another unpleasant experience, but what I really cannot understand is why I have seven stitches. I am only six years old – I should only have six stitches! My logic comes from the fact that a kindergarten friend received five stitches on her chin a few months before and she was five years old at the time.
3.As I return home from school on a cold January day in 1984, I find out my daddy has taken my brother Ben to a “special school” in Maine. I know my 15-year-old brother has been in quite a bit of trouble at school, with the law, and with drugs. But why did he need to go to Maine? I don’t even know where that is, but I know it must be far away from the way my mom is talking about it.
4.My mom decides to help me brush my hair as I am getting ready for school one morning in May 1984. “Grandma L died early this morning”, she tells me. Grandma L was my mother’s maternal grandmother and had raised my mother during high school after my grandmother passed away and my grandfather remarried. Grandma L had outlived all my grandparents and was only a few months from her 90th birthday. I will miss her house and all its familiar smells and sights.
5.After giggling endlessly at my aunt’s use of the term “passing gas” while eating dinner at Denny’s, I learn my mom did not find her sister as funny as I did and tells me to never repeat that term.
6.Island. I-S-L-I-N-D. Island. I miss the first word I was given in the school spelling bee in third grade. Sure, I am up against fourth and fifth graders, but my sister had won the same school’s spelling bee when she was younger! (A few years later, at another school, I win back-to-back spelling bees.)
7.Being subjected to those disgusting chicken pot pies at a neighbor’s house between the years of 1983-1986. My mom tells me C’s mom never cooks – they always eat out or eat frozen dinners. I much prefer when they eat out because it seems those pot pies are always the frozen meal of choice. (The thought of eating a pot pie still turns my stomach at age 30.)
8.Just a day after our beloved Chicago Bears trounced the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl in January 1986, my fourth grade classmates and I hear the news that the Challenger space shuttle exploded soon after its launch. Christa McAuliffe, first teacher in space and hero of our Weekly Readers, is among those who perish.
9.Being subjected to another summer of day camp in 1986. I am 10 years old and the oldest camper there by two years. My mom isn’t working anymore that summer, so I really don’t understand why I have to go every day. In acts of pre-adolescent rebellion, I fake illness several days throughout the summer. (I later learn that she couldn’t get a refund after she stopped working.)
10.Being told that my parents and I are moving to a smaller town in Wisconsin from the northwest suburbs of Chicago is the worst news ever. I will be starting seventh grade in a new school – away from friends I have known since kindergarten, away from my sister and brother (who are now 22 and 20 respectively). We’ll have to listen to Chicago Cubs games on the radio since we won’t have cable to watch WGN. And I won’t be able to play viola anymore because the new school does not have orchestra and all alternatives are cost-prohibitive.