I miss my childhood. I believe I had a normal childhood. Growing up in a family of nine, how normal can that be? I am one of six brothers and three sisters. Growing up in the late 1960’s and the 1970’s, things were really simple back then. We all played sports. I played baseball and basketball. I really did not have a brother close to my age. I was either too young or too old to hang out with anyone that is with the exception of my sister Rosie.
We were close in age. We were in the middle of the pack. We did everything together. She was my partner in crime. While my big brothers were out conquering the football fields me and my sister Rosie were up to no good. I guess you could say we were both the middle children. Poor thing, she was usually at the end of my practical jokes gone awry. I remember one summer when I accidentally set her hair on fire. I am not sure why or how that happened. I was not playing with matches like every other kid out there. I think what happened is that I did the evil brother thing and threw a “black cat” firecracker at her and somehow it magically ended up near her head thus causing her hair to catch fire. Too see her eyes’ tearing up was heartbreaking even as a mean kid. Our mom rapidly put the fire out.
I remember another incident we actually teamed up to set an empty lot next to our house on fire. I am not sure if it was due to fireworks or not. This one I believe can be attributed to matches. To see that empty lot next door in flames was a sight to see even for a little boy. I remember running to my room and hiding from the world at that point. I think what I was really doing was hiding from the sounds of the fire department. That was scary enough. Something even scarier as a kid is waiting for your dad to get home after you have done something drastically wrong. Just the anticipation of waiting for your dad to get home and give you the worst spanking on the planet was enough for a kid to sign up in the witness protection program. My sister Rosie was just as scared hiding under the blanket in her room.
For some odd reason I used to like to throw rocks as a kid. Find me one kid who does not like to throw a good rock. I stumbled across the best rock in the neighborhood one day. I threw it at a neighbor who was sitting on top of his mother’s station wagon. Sure enough the back window splattered into a million pieces.
That was over thirty years ago. To this day me and my sister are still close. She is not married and does not have any children but she still treats my children as her own. She still comes over for dinner and helps to pick up my kids from school. My kids occasionally play jokes on her and we both smile at each other. I think we talk almost every day. We give each other advice on different subjects from money to relationships. Occasionally we get that gleam in each other’s eyes. That gleam that means someone is going to get a prank pulled on them.
I am going to hide the matches from my kids as far up in the kitchen cabinets as I can.