Friday, May 16, 2008

Hollyhocks and Hula Hoops

Just when you think, "Another sister?! Can she really have another sister?!" I pop up with another one! And yes, believe it or not, she is a talented writer as well. You've read of Mary's sentimentality and her ephiphany . You've laughed about Michelle's parenting paranoia and recent massage. Now, I'd like to share something from Geri, the firstborn of nine, who like many of us, can remember the past as if it were yesterday...

Hollyhocks and Hula Hoops

You may wonder,
what's the connection between Hollyhocks and Hula Hoops.

Well, I'll tell you,
if you'll imagine being eight years old,
and in your prime,
as far as childhood innocence goes.

Do you see the fragile pink blossoms
and the pretty green bulb
that you fashioned into a doll with a
billowy crepe paper skirt?

Do you feel the heat of the summer day
shimmering against the house?

Do you hear your noisy siblings in the yard?

Can you feel the pride,
of being one of the first in your world
to keep a hula hoop going,
longer than you ever imagined?

Do you feel the playful sibling rivalry?

Third grade for me was the best year ever.
The last time for thirty years that I felt really smart.

Fourth grade brought shame:
Standing at the blackboard, face beet red,
with no answers for the long division.
Mean Mrs. L. with her spinster looking hair
put up in a severe bun.
Never mind that she was married...

Did I ask for help at home?
Probably not. Too embarrassed.

So I muddled through division by multiplying
'till I got it right, or close.
Math became my worst subject.
Years later, I saved my child's third grade math
page that showed how to do it. Easy...
It's still in my junk drawer,
just in case I need it, which I never do...

Third grade; Where innocence had one last hurrah.
Where one summer was the only thing that separated
innocence from shame.
Where Hollyhocks and Hula Hoops
kept back the sands of time.
Where little children's laughter was
sublimely theirs and mine.

But don't be sad.
Third grade was a perfect time,
For Hollyhocks and Hula Hoops,
And making memories divine.

P.S. (No pressure, Judy!)

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