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Scott wasn’t abused as a child, he wasn’t born with a silver spoon, his parents weren’t alcoholic or doctors or criminal, his marks in school were normal, he was never outstanding in sports, his relationships with women were healthy and tended to end gracefully without undue distress to either party, he was a safe driver, he drank in reasonable moderation, didn’t have any food allergies and he had travelled when he was younger but then smoothly transitioned into a position of responsibility at work and providing for his healthy, well-adjusted family, so there was nothing, nothing at all, to presage what happened next.
Remember when you were a kid and running meant really running, running mindlessly and without fear of falling and hurting yourself, running gracelessly, legs and arms flailing, getting sweaty and having your hair stick in your face, but then occasionally you did fall over and graze your knee and because it was so fun and there weren’t any grown-ups around to make crying worthwhile, continuing to run even as you crawled back up on to your feet, and you just kept on running until you fell down on the grass exhausted and laughing so hard that it hurt.
Many of the mistakes we parents make are rooted in the belief that our children will live some version of our own childhoods.
The bear, the duck, the furry rhinoceros and the sad giraffe pottered along in their tinky truck, pulled along by the big yellow elephant.
The clock ticked softly in the corner, but as the big hand struck the twelve, Mr Bun exclaimed “Oh, my, it is time for a little bit of barglebees, I must go!”
The little girl sat on the scorched lawn, in front of the red verandah, with the garden sprinkler tik-tik-tiking away, when suddenly the wind changed direction and she looked up into the horizon to see the wind roar across the plains towards her; it smelt of abattoirs and salt, and it felt as though it would flay the skin from her tiny body.
At the time it scared me, but now I recall with joy at the irony, my father using the full paper grocery bag of unopened bills to light a warming fire in the fireplace when I was a child.
“Sure Truth got picked last for all those pick-up games,” answered the old geezer, “but don’t go blamin’ us for anything; it couldn’t hit worth shit.”
The little girl stood trembling at the top of the monstrously tall, scalding hot and gun-metal grey slippery dip, wondering how she’d ever get down from the nightmare, when suddenly a white-scaled, rainbow-feathered dragon came giggling and jingling out of a rip in the sky, swooped down towards her and plucked her out of the air.
We never had these lovely, soft, modern paper bag cars like the kids of today, we had to make do with cardboard.
We remember our days in trees - treehouses, tree forts, tree lookout posts - as a halcyon time when our parents could never find us, and our Keds never showed any wear.
Nathaniel remembered how, at bedtime, his mother used to pretend to pick all the nightmares out of the dreamcatcher on his wall, place them carefully in the pocket of her robe, and then go to the front door and fling every one of them into the evening breeze.
The very tall woman gestured towards a part of the library that was ‘just for her’ and in all the excitement the little girl nearly forgot to breathe.
When my brother and I were children, I loved Hot Wheels race cars every bit as much as he did; thirty years later, Mattel offers my daughter a race track just for girls, but the cars are all pastel, and they run on a pink race track straight to ... a shopping mall.
Jemima was so very disappointed when she found out that all her mother had ever intended was to sew cloth rainbows on the knees of her old jeans.
Proffering co-workers lollies from their childhood will ensure that they jump and down with glee or, if seated, go “oooh and ahhh” in an exceedingly excited manner.
Ollie Ollie Oxenfree, America’s top Tag athlete, found himself frustrated as a child when no one would play his favorite game with him, years later after winning his first gold medal in Barcelona Ollie finally understood truely “what is in a name.”
My 9yo got home from school early a few days ago and, unsupervised, wandered over next door, played with the grandmotherly and grandfatherly neighbors’ dog and ate fresh-from-the-oven chocolate chip cookies; that it even flitted across my mind, “is that safe?” is far more evil and horrible than any old man putting on a silly costume, having a nip of brandy and making children laugh and delight in a joyful cultural fantasy of Christmas.
Perkins felt his childhood would have been perfect if it hadn’t been for all the other children.
Muriel learned from earliest childhood to view house cleaning as a chore that is only satisfying if someone else is miserable; in retrospect, she wondered if that wasn’t the primary reason she agreed to marriage.
Thwarted from getting what she really wanted, but forbidden to complain about it, the eleven year-old girl cast about for another, legitimate reason to practice psychological torture on her parents.
A gift is one thing, but a gift of returned memories is something so good it is almost unbearable.
Years before any real trouble would begin, two scraggly young boys named Rufus & Schuster found a bowler hat floating along the banks of Lake Erie; the boy named Rufus thought it might be fun to throw rocks at the hat, or maybe fish it out of the water and take turns wearing it around town, but the boy named Schuster thought throwing rocks was the stupidest thing he’d ever heard, and that what he wanted to do was steal his stepfather’s .22 and take shots at it, but because Rufus was his friend and he didn’t want to hurt his feelings, he told him that they should compromise; “You wear the hat,” Schuster told Rufus, “and I’ll steal the gun and do the shooting.”
I told my kids (10 and 14) they’re on their own this summer and can do whatever they want as long as they come home most nights and the police never call.
Some types of poverty are so full of broken cars, mountainous piles of junk, and all manner of pets that you barely know it is happening.
I would have killed for cigarette smoke and southern rock; all I got for my crummy childhood on the shag carpet was secondhand Mexican dirtweed and an extra dose of lesbian folksingers.
It's been all downhill since 1972.
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