We lived in a two-story house, which is white and had a wrap-a-round porch on the front. It had very little yard space to play in, and an alley ran on the side of the house, so for children it was not a safe play area. I believe when my mind goes back in time, we must have been between three and four years of age.
The upstairs of the house was where the bedrooms were placed, and although, I do know I was the age of being out of a baby bed, I can still have visions of sleeping in the same room where my father slept, in some form of a baby bed or maybe it was a toddlers bed.
I can remember waking up in the mornings and my father holding my hand as we walked safely down the long flight of stairs. It is strange how we can remember bits of pieces of our young days, but even today, all the pieces are not connected. The puzzle looks put together, and the cardboard waiting for the missing puzzle pieces has turned brown from old age and sitting empty.
It was at this house that I remember much chaos. I can remember a lot of yelling and fighting. I can remember getting strange feelings that I was in the way. It seems like there was words of I am doing what I have to do, not because I want to, but you put me in a position of being a mother again, said by my grandmother.
My father worked the evening shift at the local bowling ally, and his parents cared for us while he was at work. We were not allowed to make sounds, and we could only play with one toy at a time, but very quietly. I can remember seeing my brother laying on the floor, and rolling some sort of car, maybe the size of a hot wheels, back and forth on the floor, never making a noise.
My brother and I never had any bonding when we were young. One reason was for the lack of using our voices. Another was my brother didn’t talk much. His vocabulary was very limited due to lack of being taught, or communicated with in any other way than was necessary.
My brother was kept captured in a high chair for a good part of each day, so he would not get in to anything, and I can remember tears and crying from him. I don’t know what I did with myself for most of my days, but I can see now where I am in my own life and Al’s life, that how we were treated as young children definitely helped mold us into what we are today.
I still cling to being accepted. I go over board to try to please others, even when I know I am being used. I hear my brother’s words when he is upset, saying no one has ever cared about him.
This is not true, but the molding that was formed when very small remains in his mind today. Our stepmother did her best to raise us, and I am pretty sure she loved us in the best way she could. There was never bonding between mom and us kids, in the times that are most important, but there was a love.
I do remember when we lived in the white house by the alley, there was an elementary school that sat right across from our house, and if I was very good, or our father was sleeping later than usual, or our grandparents felt they needed more quiet time, they would tell me to go to the school ground across the street and swing on the swings. They showed they cared somewhat, because they would always point to the yellow warning sign with the children on the front, this is where you play and this is where you stay. If I look out my front window, and I don’t see you, you will get a licking when we find you.
I would go over and sit on the swings and swing alone. My brother would not be allowed to go with me, because of his age, I think. Sometimes, a little girl about my age would come to the school grounds and swing with me. I am sure we chatted or laughed or maybe we swung in silence, I can’t remember.
One day many years later, when I was grown, or thought I was grown, I worked at a local restaurant burger joint. There was lots of teenagers who worked there. A quiet, taller than most girls, worked there also, and mainly worked my shifts in the evenings. Eventually, she and I became friends, and we got close enough that we even started to stay over at each others houses on the weekends. Remember those slumber parties? This is what we had. Sue, her name, introduced me to one of her friends, and so the three of us formed our little circle of friends.
One night on one of these over night stays, conversations drifted to when we were young. I have no idea of what was really transpired, probably silly things, like cute boys! I do remember one thing though, and will never forget it.
Sue talked about where she lived when she was little and how she used to go to the school-house near her home and she would swing with a little lonely girl. Her mother would see the young child sitting all by herself, and would ask Sue to go over and keep her company.
Sue and I discovered we were each the little girls that swung together when we were very small. She lived one block from the school. I find it amazing how God brought us together once again, after all these years. We were like lost sisters come together once again.
Now, even years later, she lives in a town near by, and I see her once in a while, and we always stop for a moment or two to hurriedly catch up with what is happening in our lives now.
So many times when I go by a school today, and I see the yellow sign warning children at play, I go back to my youth, and try to choose the memories of the little girl on the swing who sat with me, and turn my back on the sad memories of confusion of wondering whether I was wanted or not.
Thank you Kellie for offering me another chance to write for your writing exercise prompts!