We are halfway through the month, and it’s time for another sample of my NaNoWriMo novel. I reached 29,435 words today — exciting, for sure. Here we go:
I spent a lot of my childhood unhappily, but not all of it. I remember, for instance, when the whole gang of us went out in the woods near Placeville, CA, to a piece of land my parents had bought. I don’t remember how old I was, but this was sometime between 1963 and 1968, and I remember being in a snowsuit. All of us wore snowsuits – my older sister would likely have been 8 years old, and I don’t think Mom had any intention of washing a pile of wet clothes when we got home.
I imagine the five of us, at the time, looked like brightly colored munchkins, running around the hillside waist deep in the new snow. I don’t remember how we played, but I remember that we did play, until we almost wore ourselves out. Almost. Because we all started screaming giggles – my dad had stepped on a snow-bank, and sunk to his waist. He flailed, trying to get out, and we thought him so funny. Actually, now that I think about it, he may have been struck by the humor, himself, which almost never happened in our sight.
Mom was either expecting my youngest sister, or carrying Mary in her arms – she couldn’t help with the Dad disaster, obviously. None of us munchkins was even tall enough to help, and some of us would have disappeared in the fluff. Dad had to struggle a bigger hole, heading downhill, so he could get a surface to lean on.
Funny, I just thought of something important. I remember very clearly every instance of criticism, teasing, unreasonable expectations, and punishment by my parents. The good stuff, like that day in the snow, is a blur in my head. I can picture a big white field on the side of a steep hill, a lot of bright pinks and blues and yellows and greens. I remember Dad in the snow – I can close my eyes and see that with no hesitation. It’s the clear thought I carry about that day being happy.
Please excuse me while I sob for a while.
You ask why I’m sobbing about something happy. Easy enough to explain. I sob because I remember those times happened, but when I think of my childhood as a whole, they are nowhere in sight. When I talk or write about that day, for instance, the feeling of happiness hits me terribly hard, because those days feel like they were very few.
Okay. I lit a candle, did a task, (adding stuff to one brand new pendaflex folder,) watered my plant, and straightened my desktop, set my spindly wheel to spinning. I’m ready to write, again.