What is your earliest memory? How old were you? What were you doing?
Mine is sitting on my dad’s lap learning to read Little Bear by Else Holmelund Minarik. I was three years old. I couldn’t get enough of the written word. Still can’t. Reading has always been a favorite pastime. I believe that is an inherited trait from both of my parents. All of my siblings also read. A LOT. Growing up my mother had to tell us to put our books down and go outside to play. Isn’t that a little backward?
One of our favorite activities to do as a family was go to the bookstore. We had a purchasing limit of two books each. Do you know how hard it is to narrow down your wishlist to two? I’d tell this to my children who never really understood why it was a big deal until they visited my mother’s children’s bookstore. Now they get it! There’s nothing quite like getting a brand new book, smelling the ink, feeling the crisp pages, wondering what adventures you will go on.
On family road trips we packed books, books, and more books to keep us occupied. Even when we traveled at night we’d hold up our books so the headlights of the vehicles behind us would shine on our pages. Hmm…maybe that’s a contributing factor to all of us needing to wear glasses or contacts?
It was my second grade teacher, Mrs. Rinaldi at Blue Lakes Elementary in Miami, who mentioned to my mother that I should get my eyes checked. I sat on the last row and couldn’t see the chalkboard clearly. My poor mother felt terrible when the optometrist confirmed I needed glasses. Badly. I was so near sighted everything past five feet was fuzzy. Still is, so contacts and glasses have been part of my life since I was six.
I was such a tomboy I had to have those eyeglass holders attached at all times so they wouldn’t fall off. My lenses were so thick though I don’t think dropping them thirty feet would have cracked them.
Too bad my body isn’t as tough. In 1st grade I was trying to show off to the ‘big’ fifth graders after school by doing the *dead man’s fall on a bar. I could do it, did it several times, but had to do it once more just because. Pride cometh before the fall. I spun too far and fell backwards to the ground (only five feet), catching myself with my hands behind me, spraining one wrist and cracking the other, not breaking it but cracking it. Of course, I was late leaving to go home from school. So late the crossing guard was gone. I was already crying, cradling my wrist not knowing what to do. While standing at the crosswalk I heard my name being called from a passing car. My parents pulled into the school parking lot worried sick that something had happened to me. After explaining through my tears what had occurred they did what all good parents do. Took me to DQ to get a 25 cent ice cream cone. 😀
Thankfully, that is the only bone I’ve ever been close to breaking.
* The dead man’s fall is accomplished by sitting on the bar and without using your hands swinging yourself backwards all the way around the bar until you are back in a sitting position on top of the bar.
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