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I’ll be back with memories later; I’m in Colorady makin’ some.

I was fifteen when my sister was born. And though I lived with her for three years before leaving for college, I don’t really have a lot of strong memories concerning that time period. One that does stand out, though, was when she was just over a year, and I had the idea to take her to get pictures taken of both of us for my parents for Christmas. I had the whole thing planned out, but it necessitated having a reason to take Lizzie somewhere in the car without my mom, something I’d simply never needed to do before. And what stands out incredibly clearly to me is that when I was preparing to leave, Mom started crying while sitting at the table. When I asked her what was wrong, she just said she wanted me to be careful, because by taking my sister with me, I was essentially leaving her helpless to protect not just one, but both of her babies.

I don’t think I ended up doing it. I don’t remember.

The point is that now, as a mother, I can’t believe she would have taken that leap of faith to entrust me with her baby. I was a reasonably smart and average teenager, but I was by no stretch a great driver, and she obviously knew that. Yet she attempted in that moment to bridge the surely difficult road of parenting her generationally-gapped daughters, and made it clear to me that though she was scared, she trusted me. It was huge and though I’m sure that’s why I ended up choosing something else to do, I know I couldn’t have fully understood that sacrifice until only recently.

Much appreciated retrospectively, Mamasan.

When I was 6 or so, I was still living in Colorado. My same-age cousin came to visit, and the whole family was hanging at my grandparent’s house. The cousin and I had been mungling out back, bored, when we decided to check out the action at the park located across the street. Since we were not yet old enough to just go out front apparently, we decided it would be a genius idea to go around to the side of the house into the fenced dog run, and climb up onto the old dog house that sat inside the fence facing the street. And for whatever reason still unbeknownst to me if I think about our personalities, I climbed up first, accidentally kicking the shit out of a wasps’ nest chilling under the eave apparently.

Oh holy hell the wasps.

In that fuzzy revisionist way we remember things, I know I don’t accurately recall the next part clearly. But it feels like I turned around and saw my fartknocker cousin running as fast as his aleady-taller-than-me fartknocker legs would carry him, out the gate of the dog run, without a word of warning coming from his fartknocker mouth.

So. Is it his fault he got like, three bites, and I got dozens and dozens (and dozens, if this is my story to revel in so please roll with it Mom kthanks)? No. He was a kid. But it sure feels like an AWOL move deserving of some dishonorable discharge from the whole family, if not the friggen kids’ table.

And my grandmother flat panicked when she heard me rounding the bend in the backyard screaming bloody murder. Grandma had been convinced my uncle’s totally harmless, Sesame Street Barkely-esque dumb dog who wanted nothing other than to loll in the backyard all day, was going to maul my cousin and I gleefully when no one was looking. I remember her calling to my uncle to grab Bowser, even though considerable confusion was mounting due to the completely innocent dog being found sleeping or something equally not blood-inducing. Poor Bowser. I hope he got an extra dog treat for being so maligned.

I’m sure in the end the sotto voce cousin clued people in, which was nice of him. Not sure he deserved ice cream with me, but whatever, I’m over it.

And that’s really it. It’s a battle story, but it has no visible scars; it’s just meant to earn some street cred, and has served me well over the years. It’s also an interesting side note to the fact that I’m not afraid in the least of flying things, but will still jump a foot in the air to see a spider. WTF.

1. Rain and wind whistling around the house

2. Sleep

3. Black and Tans

4. The way Jack puckers-up so purposefully when he gives you a kiss

5. The way songs have a time-capsule ability to keep memories within them

6. French toast

7. Driving around to think

8. Spending time with my uncle and his family in Colorado

9. Learning new words

10. Good Will Hunting



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