Remembering childhood

I used to have over-sized red sunglasses that I would wear while chewing Big Red gum and pretending to drive my imaginary teenagers around in my mom’s van – I called them my “Rich Lady Sunglasses”. I completed this ensemble with vocal yelling at my imaginary family in the parked van, in the garage because yelling and teenagers in a van just went together, apparently.
Every single one of my baby dolls or pet’s that I was allowed to name were named Jessica. When we announced the birth of our baby and that it was A GIRL! my brother was not surprised when we followed the announcement with her name – Jessica Ranae. He reminded me of this coincidence and then said – well, duh.
I remember the evening my dad took off my training wheels. I had a banana seat bike – it was pink, a pale pink with a few other colors, that were not significant, it was past my bed time and I was ready for bed. Teeth brushed, etc. I couldn’t contain myself – I just wanted to show my dad one more time how I could ride ALL BY MYSELF. Against all odds he said – OK! (Once we were ready for bed, that was it in our house. Law. No more playing) You can imagine my surprise. I think it was my first out of body experience. I was wearing a t-shirt 3 sizes too big for me as my pajamas and I got on my bike and rode like a madwoman in circles around our house. My dad was watching me pass him while he smoked a cigarette on our back patio. I biffed it, totally fell on one of the turns and scuffed up my knee. I cried. He came – cleaned me up and put me to bed. I still remember the smell of dusk in the air – my heart still beats faster when I recall the thrill of that freedom.

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