Conflicting Childhood Memory

I was about 6 years old when I had my tonsils removed. 

Mom picked me up from the hospital and the first place she took me was an ice cream shop.  She said I could have anything in the store and I could eat as much ice cream as I wanted. 

I had so many conflicting feelings at that moment and it was hard for my little brain to contemplate them all.

A part of me was elated.  This was like a dream come true.  However, a part of me was dejected.  My throat was so sore, I didn’t feel like eating anything. 

I finally decided to get an ice cream sandwich, which I ate with great difficulty and little sadness.

This is one of those childhood memories that will forever be burned into my mind.

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Black Forrest Family Trip Disaster

Mom, Aaron , and I went to the Black Forrest in 1987.  It was just a family day trip, so we were riding on a tour bus.

This was our last day in Germany.  The next day we would board a plane and move back to America.  Mom was looking forward to this trip, since she probably would not get another chance to see the Black Forrest.

For some reason, my brother was an absolute tyrant that day.  He was rude, obnoxious, bratty, and defiant.  In all fairness to Aaron, he did not normally behave this way.  He was usually a good kid, but that day he was on a roll.

It started as soon as we boarded the bus.  Aaron decided to block the aisle and tried to charge people a toll fee to pass by him.  Mom was rather embarrassed, but the worst was yet to come.

We were walking around and admiring all the sites, then Aaron started crying about being thirsty.  He was winning and about ready to have a full on tantrum.  Mom stopped at one of the shops and bought us each a can of soda.

Aaron took the soda and stuffed them in his jacket.  He refused to give me one of the cans and said he was “holding them for ransom.”  I started yelling at Aaron and we were on the verge of a throwing punches, when Mom stepped in to put a stop to the whole thing.  She snatched the soda cans away from Aaron and give him a good scolding.

Later in the day, we stopped at a shop that made baskets.  In front of the store was a giant picnic basket for sale.  It was so huge, Aaron could have crawled inside of it.

Aaron wanted Mom to buy the giant basket, but she refused.  That set Aaron off again.  He started yelling and screaming about the basket.  Mom had reached her limit.  She got in Aaron’s face and yelled, “I’ve had with you!  I am changing my name.  It’s not Mom or Rita anymore and I am leaving you here.”

Mom spun around and started walking away from Aaron.  I was standing there in shock and wondering if she would come back for me.

Aaron tried calling out to her, but she didn’t respond.  Aaron bellowed out, “Hey lady with the brown coat and the grey streak in your hair!”

Mom’s face was about to turn scarlet red.  She was so angry, I expected to see smoke coming from her ears and nostrils.  She grabbed ahold of Aaron and started walking away with him, without saying a word.

In spite of everything that happened that day, Mom still loved her son.  The next day, Aaron was on the plane with us, instead of being left in the Black Forrest to be raised by wild animals.

 

Mom Lied About My Birthday

In 1979, we moved from Mannheim, Germany, to Columbus, Georgia.  The cutoff date for starting school was different in Georgia.  According to the school rules, I was not old enough to start first grade and had to repeat kindergarten.

Mom disagreed with that policy, so she decided to lie about my age.  She told the administrators she didn’t have all the documents they requested, due to the move and would bring them later.  Since the school was located near a military base, this was a reasonable story and not uncommon.

Several months went by and I was sitting in class.  The teacher asked, “Who knows their birthday?”

My hand shot up in the air and I said, “September 10, 1973.”

My teacher said I was wrong, but I was adamant about it.  An argument ensued and I refused to even acknowledge the possibility that I was wrong.

The teacher had a talk with Mom when she came to pick me up that day.  Mom played it off by saying her birthday is in September and I was probably just confused.  She told the teacher I was born August 10, 1973.

We get home and Mom sits down with me for a talk.  She explained the situation.  I was confused, but agreed to keep my birthday a secret.

In 1980, we moved back to Germany and my age was never again a problem.

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Favorite Childhood Memory – Fishing in the Bathtub

Today is Aaron’s birthday.  He would have been 42 years old.  I thought I would honor the day by sharing one of our adventures together as children.

During the summer of 1988, my brother and I spent most of our free time exploring the woods and playing in a creek.

One day, we were hanging out in the woods and fishing.  We had a bucket full of fish, but it started to rain.  Neither one of us wanted to leave, since we were having so much fun.

I suggested we take the bucket of fish home and put the fish in our bathtub.  That way we could continue having fun while we were at the house.  Aaron thought it was a great idea, so that’s what we did.

My mom came home from work, as she passed by the bathroom, she saw Aaron sitting on the toilet with a fishing pole.  She went into the bathroom to find out what in the world her son was doing.

When mom looked into the bathtub, she went ballistic.  She started yelling at both of us to get those **** fish out of the there.

We put the fish back into the bucket and walked down the street.  We decided to release the fish in our neighbor’s pound.  Once we got home, Mom made us scrub the bathtub multiple times with several different cleaning solutions.

Personally, I think she may have overreacted just a little bit.

Hearing Loss in Childhood

I was born with inner-ear deformities, so I have dealt with hearing loss my entire life.

In school, I struggled to hear the teacher.  As a result, I was viewed as intellectually challenged.  I was also punished for failing to follow directions that I never heard or that I misunderstood.

I couldn’t explain to the adults in my life what was happening.  I didn’t understand it myself.  I didn’t know the other children were hearing things that I missed.

For me, I think the saddest part of growing up with a hearing disability, is believing I was stupid and that I would never succeed in school or in life.

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Reminiscing About Cereal

When we moved back to the United States in 1987, I was amazed at how different it was from Germany.  I spent most of my life in Europe, so there was a lot that I didn’t know or understand about America.

One of the first things I noticed was the cereal isle in grocery stores.  I was surprised to see an entire isle dedicated to cereal.  I wanted to try every single box of cereal.  I especially wanted to try the boxes that used pop culture to entice shoppers.

Unfortunately, my mom wasn’t willing to purchase that much cereal at one time.  Oh well, that’s how life goes.