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Embed code for: I remember when I was five
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I remember when I was five, my mother pulled me out of kindergarten on a Wednesday morning. She silently walked me to the car and then with a huge smile, announced that we were going to spend the day driving down to the ocean. I had just discovered my love of the beach—collecting shells, digging for crabs, that sticky but awesome feeling of salt on my skin. It was just the two of us, my brothers weren’t invited.
My mom was that playful kind of mom. Every year she took us out of school for our own personal hooky day. She built forts, made blue pancakes for dinner, and read to us every night for hours. She didn’t always lead a happy, playful life. I learned later that she grew up with unhappy, depressed parents. She led a lonely childhood. Never had a birthday party. She told me one day she ran home after getting hit in the eye with a rock, but her mother was asleep, unresponsive in her dark room. She realized that her mother was never going to really be there to help or comfort her.
Deep down my mom was a joyful person and couldn’t stand to live life so sad. When her mother forgot her birthday, my mom planned her own party. She got into a big fight one day when ten girls from 4th grade came home with her on the bus for a “birthday party”. Her mother was furious that all these kids were in her quiet house. My mom cut up oranges and poured milk—the only things she could find to feed her friends. After that day, some of those friends left my mom. They thought she was weird and didn’t want to hang out with someone who didn’t even have a proper birthday cake.
One day in high school, a teacher told her “We all have two opportunities to have a happy childhood. One is to have good parents. The other is to BE a good parent.” She decided after that that she would wait for all the fun kid things and do them all when she had little kids. It made her feel excited and hopeful that she really could have that happy childhood after all.