by authorameai

Learning About Friendship

I met my best friend, Anna Kite, because her mother Mrs. Kite was friends with Mom. Mrs. Kite would use pet names such as “booger” and other endearing terms. Many summers were spent at Ocean City with Anna ever since I was a baby. I was told that when I was a baby I was so tired that I fell asleep with my face in my bowl of oatmeal one summer. I remember the boardwalk because there was a space on Monopoly called the boardwalk. Anna and I were very creative, and I remember once that we wrapped towels around our heads and pretended that we were fortune tellers. Grandma and I would play War, a card game, on the porch. One summer I tried to dive backwards in a cannonball position but fell down too close to the side of the pool and hit my teeth against the ladder.  Brushing my teeth that summer was a very painful activity. I always wore a one-piece swimsuit because I was both too modest and too fat.  I had only worn a two-piece once but it was when I was young, fat, and the swimsuit itself was ugly as shit. When I looked out the window I thought of Dover Beach. The ocean is exciting, but ocean stories can bore me between just description and imagery; Dover Beach was an exception.

Learning About Adoption

Anna was in PM kindergarten under Mrs. Giant, and I was in PM kindergarten with Mrs. Fitch. I remember that my kindergarten teacher had adopted a Korean child just like my parents. I cannot recall when I was first told that I was adopted.

Learning about Boys

John Hodge was a crush Anna and I had; we’d yell things out the bus and he’d stick out his tongue.

Mimi Fawcett

Mimi Fawcett, our babysitter, was the only person I knew who still played LP’s in the late ’80s. She was short, but I never noticed as a child. Her husband, Bill, worked at CENTRA Technology. I was Grandma Catherine’s (Mrs. Fawcett’s mom’s) favorite because I treated her as I would anyone, as someone to talk to about anything at all. I remember many things. I remember once peeing on the carpet at Mrs. Fawcett’s house. I remember being stabbed with a sharpened pencil at her house. I remember walking back from school to the babysitter’s.  An older girl had told us that she could tell the time by looking at the sun, and I fully believed her. My fascination with skateboarding and waterbeds stemmed from the fact that her son, Robert, would never let us kids touch his skateboard or waterbed. Mimi Fawcett was a Christian woman. It genuinely tortured me to know that my family did not say grace before dinner for I believed their souls to be damned.

Learning About Race

When I was about four or five years old, I distinctly remember seeing an Onyx person for the first time in my life at Mimi Fawcett’s house. All I can remember saying to her was, “you’re drawing outside the lines,” because I was a perfectionist

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