My earliest childhood memories are all little pieces of sand reflecting a too bright sun
No one spoke the same language... and I, so dreamy, didn't even try to parse out meaning. I let the YiddishRussianGerman wash over me like the water I loved, like the sand pouring out between my ocean sticky fingers.
Time was endless, and I was so patient, so much more patient than my children
The ENDLESS dinners, with me trying to gag down food until my grandfather, thankfully, would take my food from my plate onto his so I wouldn't have to sit there with the "5 more bites before you can leave the table" over and over and over
Summers at the pool by the long island sound. Allowed to go onto the sand, but not into the polluted ocean waters. Cold mornings as I slid my tiny body into the water for swim club
Sitting under my grandfathers drafting table, or watching him paint or sitting in the red of the darkroom "helping" to work the enlarger, sitting up on the table so that I could pull the metal strand to turn the big red bulb on or off
Sitting under my mothers sewing machine, listening to swears and threats lobbed at the big noise machine that wasn't sewing correctly
Summer camp, endless freedom, dirty dusty woodland trails to the metal swing set. No one telling me what to eat, a summer of saltines and sugar water, swimming in the lake, songs around the campfire, sneaking out to go to church with the church going children. I loved it there, until you forgot to pick me up on Saturday after I was gone for a month. When they had to call you to come get me, and so you came on Sunday. I was 9, and you forgot to pick me up
It all goes south from there.... taunted at school, bullied at a time when bullies ruled and "just ignore them" or "he does that because he likes you" was the norm
Staring out the window during, the endless, stomach churning, hours in school.
No I am not going into Kindergarten, I am 10, I am going into 4th grade, they already held me back because I am "too small" and now I am "Bored and not living up to my potential" This blue Benji lunchbox is for fourth grade, not kindergarten.
car rides in the old blue woody station wagon. Sleeping in the back with the window down on the way to Florida. We ran out of gas, Daddy had to walk away to find gas.... We ran out of money, we had to get off of the highway and avoid the tolls, it was gas or tolls
new school, again, still the smallest in the class, never have to wonder where I will be in the line when we line up by height, always first, or always last, whichever order they were going in. Always someone saying "what's for dinner??? Shrimp! ha ha ha ha" Or picking me up, don't pick me up!
But I always like to think back to the endless summer days, my grandmother and her other giant busted friends in the pool, me in the sand, watching it slip gently through my fingers, slowly finding it's way back to the ground, filtering down, with the sun sparkling in the sky, and my sticky blond curls in clumps on my head. Just waiting to go get a lime ricky with my grandmother