4 days ago
Tuesday, July 5, 2016
Rerun from July 2009.
I popped out of the womb "independent" according to my mother. My baby book is full of frustration with her "want to do it myself" toddler. My Dad often remarked that I was born a 40 year old.
Mother had desperately wanted a daughter and was getting nervous after having two sons. Then I appeared. Finally a little girl to teach all she knew about being a woman. She wanted to take her daughter's hand and lead her gently through life.
I fear she wanted someone else's daughter, for she didn't get that in me. Sadly, I just wanted to be an independent adult, not a compliant little girl.
The day I am writing about happened when I was almost four. Of course as a child, when you are one week past your third birthday, you are "almost four." Some how I am not as quick to claim my pending year these days.
We had once again moved to a new town. As our house was just a few doors down from a church, Mother decided on our first Sunday that we were all going to church.
We were not church goers at that time but when I learned everyone got dressed up to go, I was convinced this was going to be exciting.
With help, I was soon gussied up in my newest dress and shiny patent leather shoes. Oh boy. I was the first one ready to go and I kept asking if it were "time yet?"
My mother was an asthmatic and that morning before she could get ready herself, she had a mild attack.
It was not uncommon for me to witness her struggling to breathe and squirting her atomizer. I was too young to understand her disease. The attacks were not rare and she always got better.
It became as non-threatening to me at that age as having a parent with chronic hiccups.
I was pretty much ignored as Dad tried to make Mother comfortable while she recovered and it was decided church was off for this Sunday. This did not upset my brothers. They just got back into their play clothes and went outside to ride bikes.
I was as bummed as an almost four year old could get. With brothers gone and Dad busy with Mother, I thought, "I'll just go to church myself." So I slipped out the door without a word and down the street I went.
I walked up to the entrance of the church and was heading for the huge open doors when a lady touched my shoulder.
"Look what we have here." she said loud enough to attract a crowd. "Where are your parents little girl?"
"Home, " I said. Then rather importantly I added, "I'm here to go to church."
"Oh, you mean Sunday school," she corrected me.
"Sunday school is for babies." I said, repeating what I had heard my brothers say. I stamped my foot and with a pout starting , declared, "I want to go to church."
By now I have a crowd around me and I am hearing a lot of "How cute is she?" However they were physically barring me from the front door. Finally a man in glorious robes arrived to rescue me.
The preacher took my hand and lead me away. I was delighted thinking he was going to take me to a front row seat in "church." Instead I ended up in a class room with kids about my age. Yuck, Sunday school.
Ok, I thought, I am stuck here but I don't have to like it. Then the stories started and I was spell bound. That Sunday the lesson was David and Goliath. Hey, this Sunday school stuff wasn't too bad what with super heroes and all.
I was really into the story and David had just clocked Goliath when there was a ruckus in the hall way. The door burst open and there were my parents.
When Mother's asthma attack subsided, my parents discovered I was missing and panic ensued. They had rushed into the church to ask if anyone had seen me. Well of course, almost every one had. After all, I was that "how cute is she?" pre-church diversion.
I was really embarrassed that my parents were alternately hugging and scolding me in front of the whole class. The teacher diplomatically excused me saying I could come back next week. I then left with my parents to face my punishment which was a long lecture on the code of behavior required of a 4 year old.
Dad delivered the lecture while Mother just kept shaking her head. I am sure in her heart of hearts, she was certain I had been switched in the hospital nursery with her nice, docile, dependent child. She never did locate her switched child and could only hope her "real" child had found a good home.
Were you also born with an innate characteristic that drove your parents batty?? Care to share??
at 5:55 AM Posted by Arkansas Patti