|Seriously, I prefer pie.|
Age 5: The Stuffed Cat
Meet Milkshake. I was the last of three children, and while our family wasn't large, we must have worn my parents down a bit. By the time they got to me, Mom and Dad sort of forgot to buy the traditional first teddy bear, you know, the one that sits patiently in your pristine bassinet awaiting your arrival. But my mother, being a lover of traditions that make people happy, decided to rectify this oversight on my fifth birthday. Instead of a bear, however, she found a stuffed cat (not the taxidermy kind), and being a lover of creating new traditions when the fancy struck her, she purchased it. This cat is now 53 years old, and I still adore her. She has camped across the United States, traveled to Europe, and lived in every house/apartment I have ever called home save one (Austin, Minnesota, age 0-6 months). Milkshake will outlast me. I hope my daughters (and grandchildren) give her a good home.
Age 6: The Craft Box
This whole mid-life collage crisis is not my first foray into the world of arsty-fartsy. I have always loved anything to do with paper, glue, glitter, tape (lots of tape), colored pencils, crayons, paints... It just make me shiver to think of the possibilities.
On my sixth birthday my sister (then age 16) gave me a shoe box filled (and I mean filled to the brim) with art supplies. There was every item I had ever lusted after in the arts and crafts section of the dime store. I can still see and smell the eraser--tan not pink. A real drawing eraser that made piles of mess when you used it. Here it is:
Just looking at this picture brings back memories of that shoe box and how much I loved it. My sister even included gold conduct stars.
|This was sort of the extent of stickers back in 1961, |
and you had to lick them.
Age 13: Pierced Ears
Ear piercing in 1968 involved one of two methods. Either you used an ice cube and a big needle, or you went to the doctor's office. The former got you grounded, and the later got you a lecture about the insanity of mutilating body parts from the guy who probably helped birth you. My 13 year-old friends did not have their ears pierced. Their parents wouldn't let them. My brother not only convinced the parents, but he bought the first pair of earrings and paid for the mutilation. What an incredibly cool dude! I was at my social zenith following this event. It didn't last long, but I still get a warm, fuzzy feeling every time I change my earrings.
What ties these three gifts together is that first family I ever knew. Mom and Dad always told me about the unexpected mid-November snowstorm that blew in the day I arrived into this world. My sister's story is that Dad came to her classroom to tell her she had a sister. And this is my brother, then five, holding me for the first time.
|"She'd be a darn sight prettier if she had some|
earrings in those ears."
Gosh darn, I am one lucky Prairie Grl.