I was thrilled when Mom recently sent me a bunch of photos from the early days of our family. Today it is my pleasure to share some of them with you and tell you a little bit about them. I will do my best to tell you what’s going on in each photo, but please know, if I can’t remember, I am not afraid to make something up!
When I was little I thought my dad was the smartest and handsomest man in the world. At night when he tucked me in I would say, “Daddy, when I’m old enough will you divorce mommy and marry me?” He always chuckled and said, “We’ll see how you feel about it when you’re older.” Mom always read to us and I remember her singing to us at bedtime – You are my sunshine, my only sunshine – I thought she had the most beautiful voice in the world, the voice of an angel. I day-dreamed about being as good a singer as her one day.
I think I’m three years old in this photo and Mom has told me that this was the first Christmas that I was aware of the tree, decorations and presents. Forty-seven years later, my best friend will tell you that I am hardly ever aware of things around me. I’ll be all like, “Hey, check out the new restaurant!” And she’ll be all, “Yeah, it’s really changed the neighbourhood since they opened…..5 years ago!”
“Really? You’re taking a picture when I’ve just woken up? It’s not bad enough that you’re making us eat porridge?” Apparently, I’ve never really been a “cheerful” person in the morning. But nevermind me, doesn’t Mike look hung over?
“Dis twuck…is..good toy!” “Oh you naive little boy, everyone knows Raggedy-Ann is where it’s at..” Years later, in our teens at Christmas, I bought Mike a Frank Zappa album and he bought me a Pink Floyd album. We opened our gifts, said thanks and traded albums.
Dad was great for play fighting and humoured me when I fancied myself as a German Shepherd by whistling for me and patting my head. But seriously, a wrestling match was not an effective way to convince us that it was time for bed. I distinctively remember thinking that the fun had just begun, “and you want me to what…go to bed?”
This would be my first of many ‘World Domination’ speeches: “Ok, pay attention boy, I’m the oldest, I’m in charge, you will do as you’re told!” “Yeah, sure, whatever floats your boat…pyscho…”
True Story: That used to be a one-piece bathing suit and when I grew taller, Mom cut it into a two-piece. I was so excited to wear it – I felt like a woman! Whoa, do my feet look extra-large to you?
My love for water and sunshine exists to this very day! Some 42 years later, my Mom and I would take our first tropical trip (neither of us had EVER been south) together to the Dominican Republic. Turns out she loves water and sunshine too.
As much as I love summer, I hate winter! “Seriously, what’s with all these layers? Oh, it’s %^$#((^ cold out here! And I have to pee!”
Dad was always trying to be funny or make people do a double-take…like the time we came down for breakfast and he was in his underwear with a long red-haired wig reading the paper or the time he was watering the lawn (before the sod had been lain) in a thunderstorm with an umbrella…I’ll never forget the looks on the faces of our neighbours as they gawked out their windows!
Here’s a family photo of Dad, Freddy the Teddy, me, Mike and Mom. In later years, I gave Freddy to some poor kids down the street because he had provided me such friendship and security and I thought he would brighten their day. Later that day, I passed their home again and much to my horror, Freddy was torn to shreds on the front lawn!
In spite of all these things, I turned out OK..wouldn’t you agree?
~ HUMP DAY CHRONICLES ~
I wonder how my daughter will portray her childhood when she’s 50!
Now tell me how your childhood was weirder than mine…please!