Post a photo of yourself before age 10. Write about what you remember of the day the photo was taken. It may not be a full story – it may just be flashes of event and emotion – but tap into the child that you were as much as you can.
Easter in Arizona is beautiful. The weather is sunny, but still cool; and, in 1971, the whole town would still have been heady with the smell of orange blossoms.
Our family spent all major holidays together and on that particular Easter Sunday, my grandparents, their four daughters with their husbands, the five little grandchildren, and some friends of the family from the army days, all gathered for breakfast in Encanto Park.
To a three-year old, the park seemed enormous. There were lakes full of ducks, a playground, picnic areas and huge palm trees everywhere.
Years later, on a crazy, twenty-four hour college road trip, my buddies and I would spend an afternoon picnicking in the sun at that same park, congratulating ourselves on escaping a Colorado snow storm and marveling at how small the park really was.
Back on that bright Easter Sunday morning, the ladies all tried to scramble eggs and crisp bacon in pans on the charcoal grills while the men all stood around smoking. They were the epitome of 70’s styles…round necked, short-sleeved sweaters, Bermuda shorts and huarache sandals on the men, mini-skirts, kerchiefs covering long falls, and flat sandals on the women.
My mother and two of my aunts were pregnant with the next group of babies to come along.
My cousins, Rachael and Tom, and I were all within a year in age. We always played well together for a while; then, one would make a grab for someone else’s shovel or knock over a pail of sand, and all hell would break loose.
In the photo, all hell has just broken loose.
As I stood up to yell, all three-year old rage and indignation, I remember dumping sand from my lap and throwing my shovel.
One or the other of my cousins is about to get slapped. I am just seconds away from a humiliating swat on my own behind, a few more seconds away from enforced confinement (next to my grandmother at a picnic table) followed by the indignity of having my sandy dungarees brushed off and my face wiped with a spit-upon Kleenex.
After several moments of squirming at the picnic tables, (I could see MY bunny bucket being filled with Rachael’s carrot shaped shovel) my grandfather proposed a trip to the pond to feed the ducks.
I was released from my incarceration, handed a plastic bread bag with the scraps of left-over bread and swung up onto the safety of my step-dad’s shoulders. From there, I could throw bits of torn-up bread down into the water and watch as the ducks squabbled like little kids.
I’m participating in this year’s The Scintilla Project. It’s a two-week opportunity to share stories and build our community. Come join us!