Little Sister of Nine Lives

Resolutions for the week include:

  1. Read more Susan Shapiro, Only as Good as Your Wordin progress
  2. Read each day for pleasure for one hour – Finished The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, wonderful!!!  Currently reading Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
  3. Write 3 family memoirs, be brave, post them on your blog – here goes, family memoir #1

Little Sister of Nine Lives

I actually have a hard time remembering my childhood.  It wasn’t full of sorrow, it wasn’t maniacally evil, it obviously wasn’t too exciting, either.  For some reason, unbeknownst to me, I simply don’t remember as far back as most people claim to.  If I had to give you a reason for this, I’d call it Self Preservation from my Deranged Family.

You see, my sister will claim to many days of glad tidings and jolly moments where she took me bike riding with our Cabbage Patch Dolls, playing in the park that was across the street from our house.  My brother would sneak candy to me and terrorize the neighbor’s lawns on his bicycle with me squished onto the front seat with him.  I recall none of this ever occurring.  What I recall is being buried alive or left for dead several times over.

To begin, there is photographic evidence of me as a toddler being buried in our sandbox.  My face is red, my jaw open screaming, there are tears on my face.  My brother crouches over me with a shovel, and waves to one of my parents who undoubtedly stopped what they were doing to collect this fine, familial moment.  I don’t know how I escaped, I’ve clearly recessed this memory.

Example number two.  My mother, upon driving home from one of her weekly hair appointments, discovers at the corner stop sign, one of her children, the youngest, tied to the pole with a jump rope, crying.  Seemingly left for abandon on one of the busiest streets in town for all to ridicule her pain.  Notice no one stopped driving to call for help.

Example number three.  My father is supposed to be watching me one winter when I was in elementary school.  It was late at night, he was shoveling snow.  I thought it was a game at first.  He began to put shovel full after shovel full of snow on top of me who was playing in the snow bank.  Pretty soon, that snow pile got really heavy.  Pretty soon after that, I couldn’t move from underneath it.  I called to my father for help, who found said predicament extremely funny.  He grew up in a sink or swim household and told me to figure a way out myself.  Then he went inside, leaving me trapped in a snowbank under a streetlight.  Crying in the dead of winter, I eventually managed to squirm like an earthworm until I was uncovered enough to crawl out.

That about brings us up to speed, and would put me at my fourth life if we’re keeping track.  If I were going to give you any sort of moral to the story or insight from my perspective, it would be this:  don’t let your children babysit your children.  And apparantly, don’t leave them with their father either, at least in winter weather conditions.  So for all you youngest children, little sisters and brothers everywhere, good night and good luck!  And if it helps, I did sleep with a pocket knife under my pillow for awhile, just in case.

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18 responses

  1. I read both GLaPPPS and SFatSF last year. I liked them both, though I think I liked Lisa See’s, Shanghai Girls a bit more than SFatSF.

    Also? I’m sorry – I don’t know if you meant it as being funny, but I couldn’t help but laugh about your childhood stories. I think we all have these types of stories.

    1. Oh, yes, I laugh about them! And then I tell my siblings how “it’s cool, the world is my party to crash, suckers!”

  2. I like this weekly resolutions idea. 🙂

  3. It was hard for me to read this without squirming. That feeling of being completely powerless — buried alive or lashed to a pole, susceptible to the menacing nature of anything or anyone — is strangely familiar. I hope you’ll stay with this, Jess. It’s well-written and compelling. I’d like to read more.

    1. You are so flattering! Thank you! I know they’re still kind of rough around the edges, but I really like writing these little memoirs, especially after reading “A Girl Named Zippy” by Haven Kimmel. If you want a great memoir, read her book. I’d love to do my own following her structure of moments growing up as a kid in a small town. It’s hilarious; trust me, read it!

  4. […] favorite game was called Orphan.  And it’s another example of why I’m convinced I have multiple lives.  But the truth is, I love my siblings.  I love them for helping make me a stubborn, and overly […]

  5. After reading this and the last post, I don’t know what to think of your family! 😉
    I will say, it’s a good thing you survived to adulthood!

  6. […] about our trips to the zoo where we never actually went inside the zoo, I’ve noted the time he buried me in a snowbank and left me, and about his ongoing war with rodent control, but those stories have left most of you wondering […]

  7. […] claims the title Perseverance Expert.  She grew up in a small Wisconsin town as the much younger youngest sibling of four, she’s witnessed the paranormal, jumped out of a plane, worked in retail, traveled to exotic […]

  8. […] the title Perseverance Expert.  She grew up in a small Wisconsin town as the much younger youngest sibling of four, she’s witnessed the paranormal, jumped out of a plane, worked in retail, traveled to exotic […]

  9. […] claims the title Perseverance Expert.  She grew up in a small Wisconsin town as the much younger youngest sibling of four, she’s witnessed the paranormal, jumped out of a plane, worked in retail, traveled to exotic […]

  10. […] claims the title Perseverance Expert. She grew up in a small Wisconsin town as the much younger youngest sibling of four, she’s witnessed the paranormal, jumped out of a plane, worked in retail, traveled to exotic […]

  11. […] claims the title Perseverance Expert.  She grew up in a small Wisconsin town as the much younger youngest sibling of four, she’s witnessed the paranormal, jumped out of a plane, worked in retail, traveled to exotic […]

  12. […] the title Perseverance Expert.  She grew up in a small Wisconsin town as the much younger youngest sibling of four, she’s witnessed the paranormal, jumped out of a plane, worked in retail, traveled to exotic […]

  13. […] claims the title Perseverance Expert.  She grew up in a small Wisconsin town as the much younger youngest sibling of four, she’s witnessed the paranormal, jumped out of a plane, worked in retail, traveled to exotic […]

  14. […] claims the title Perseverance Expert. She grew up in a small Wisconsin town as the much younger youngest sibling of four, she’s witnessed the paranormal, jumped out of a plane, worked in retail, […]

  15. […] claims the title Perseverance Expert.  She grew up in a small Wisconsin town as the much younger youngest sibling of four, she’s witnessed the paranormal, jumped out of a plane, worked in retail, traveled to exotic […]

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