My brothers, sisters and I, on the rare occasions we get a chance to get together, inevitably end up sitting around talking about our lives as kids, laughing about the silly things we did and if we got caught by our parents or not. Like my sister’s joy ride in my mom’s Porsche(not caught), my little brothers car wrecks and speeding tickets(always caught), all of us rolling out of our family van at one of the road races my parents were running in one sunny weekend or some other memory that struck one of us.
One thing that always strikes me as odd when the five of us get to talking is that it almost seems that we grew up in different households. We really have few memories that we all go – “yea – remember when”, it is usually one or two of us recalling something and the other three going “hum – I don’t remember that where were we”. Like the van in the picture, somehow we got on the topic of the van and my little brother was sure it was white with a blue stripe, but I always remembered it as white with a red stripe, like an ambulance. I think I remembered it that way, because I was a little embarrassed to be riding around in an ambulance. But he was sure it was white with a blue stripe and then postulated that we had two vans.
I remember we were in the “ambulance” the first time I called my step-dad “dad”. It seemed like a pretty big thing then, but it passed without any comment or notice by anyone, but I do think there was a little bit of a smile on his face, just a hint of one. And I do remember that moment.
But so many others I can’t recall. Things I repeated still stick, like watching Laurence Welk with my great-grandma Kate in her big white leather recliner while she smoked cigarettes. ( I ended up with a scar above one of my eyes from a too quick jump into the recliner before the cigarette could be moved out of the way). I remember stealing the chocolate-carmel diet candies that my grandma Buddy always had around the house, she was constantly on a diet, probably never lost weight because we were stealing all her diet candy. My grandpa always used to push his false teeth half-way out of his mouth and scare us kids and then he would pull them back in and we would all laugh. Building tunnels in the hay in the barn and playing in there for hours, which is funny because I am kind of claustrophobic now and the thought of the hay tunnels makes me a little bit queasy. Summer camping trips throughout the pacific northwest and Canada always with our final few days at the KOA campground in Winthrop, Washington. At the KOA we would get to swim in the pool or run wild through the campground and on our last night we would all get cleaned up and go for a nice dinner at the Sun Mountain Lodge.
18 years as a child, teen and young adult and these are some of the family things I remember 30 years later.
Do you and your siblings share a lot of memories or are they different? What do you remember from your childhood?