Belenen (belenen) wrote,

remembering childhood places, people / my favorite childhood memory

I remember places. The space under the trailer where I played at making food (mud pies and mud soup) for homeless people (whom I'd never seen) with a stick and my rust-colored depression glass cup. The spot on the edge of the playground at school where no one but me and the caterpillars ever went. The place on our driveway where I stepped over a black-and-yellow snake and didn't realize it until three steps later, 'cause I was running so fast. The edge of my mother's iris garden, where a baby pine tree poked out of the ground and I rescued it from my mom's weeding hands. (to return years later and find it had grown to at least twice my height) The tree in the backyard where I once peeled a strip of bark and saw to my chagrin that I had wrecked the roof of a family of ladybugs. And the bedroom where I laid belly-down on the floor with my cat and watched under the door as people moved us out of the first home I remember.

I remember people. The girl who I played paper dolls with, who wouldn't let me play with the one I wanted so I chose a bellydancing costume with headscarf and veil, called her 'Noface' and played her so happily that we ended up fighting over her. The teacher that I thought was so cruel -- until one day she paddled me (it was a school that allowed for that, with proper documentation/permission) and afterward picked me up, hugged me, and told me she loved me: that she had to spank me for lying but it didn't change how she felt about me. (I think that may be part of the reason I can't stand lies to this day) The aunt who gave me a glitter-filled plastic baton and encouraged me in my dreams of being a dancer. The stranger who told me 'boys will be boys' when my brother was being a little ass in the grocery store, who infuriated me (at age 6) and made me realize for the first time that boys and girls were treated differently and that it was wrong. The 'big kids' at my school who called me Pocahontas (for my protectiveness of my crush and my waist-length hair), which I took as a huge compliment because I desperately wanted to be Native American. The group of girls in my neighborhood whom I told elaborate stories of how I was really an Indian Princess who had been switched at birth, but my real family was keeping a close eye on me and would take me back once I learned enough. (and I told it so convincingly that they believed me -- they told me so years later when I moved back into that neighborhood)

But I only remember one positive event, one positive moment in time that I can remember clearly enough to picture it. I was four years old. I went into my parents' bedroom where my dad was sitting on the bed reading the bible and making notes. He had a yellow legal pad with a HUGE list of verse references, and I pointed to random ones, asked him what they were, and he quoted them for me. After a few we lapsed into silence, him reading and me just thinking. I thought that his turning those little letters and numbers into whole verses was Jesus inside him working miracles. (it was too much to imagine memorizing them all) Then I asked him what I had to do to have Jesus come into my heart, and he got very excited but tried to stay calm. He asked me if I knew John 3:16, so I quoted it to him, and he prayed the 'sinner's prayer' with me. (I now believe that it was the act of opening my heart, not the words said, that created the experience) I remember so clearly the feeling of euphoria that came over me. I felt that Jesus had come into my heart and was glowing in me -- I felt connected to everything, that everything was absolutely perfectly beautiful, and that I was fully loved.

My beliefs have expanded and changed since then, of course, but that moment will never leave me. I don't call myself a Christian because that does not encompass all of my beliefs, but I have a deep fondness for Jesus, who was my only real friend and comfort throughout my childhood. I talked to him constantly, in all those places and about all those people whom I remember -- he's my favorite childhood memory. ♥

LJ idol topic 1: my favorite 'childhood' memory ((please vote for me here!))
Tags: biofamily, christianity, deities, social justice / feminism, spirituality, trees, writing prompts

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