There are a couple of memories that truly stand out to me from my childhood. I think most people have really touching memories, stories of their parents affection, and of course, everyone's got the funny memories. But what I know about my childhood, is that apparently, I was utterly forgettable.
I know this because my mother forgot me all the time.
I recently told these stories at dinner with some friends and was met with tears of laughter, but make no mistake, these memories have left their mark on me.
My mother left me at the grocery store. Many of you already know this. But she did. Tom Thumb at Park and Preston. I went to put the buggy away and Big Sara drove our Travel Quest van right past me. I took off running behind her. Screaming. How you miss the eight year old screaming and running behind your car is beyond me, but she did. And she didn't remember me for like 20 minutes. When she finally came back for me (I was sitting on the curb crying hysterically) – all she did was laugh.
I am pretty sure this is where my hatred of running comes from. I flashback to seeing that silver Travel Quest logo getting smaller and smaller and me trying harder and harder.
When I realized that she wasn't stopping for me – that she was abandoning me – I went inside to get an adult to help me. The man at the video counter couldn't let me use the phone but he gave me a quarter. Are you f-ing kidding me? Dude, how about calling the police or at the very least a store manager?
And that might not be that bad, if a couple years later she hadn't forgotten to pick me up from camp. One day close to the end of camp, I got so excited because I had a package in the office. Big Sara had finally come through and sent me a care package. It was a fedex. With a plane ticket in it. No note, no explanation. Just a one way ticket from Springfield, MO to Dallas. Apparently Bubba and Sara wouldn't be coming up to get me from camp. And that might not be that bad… if they had remembered to pick up their 11 year old at the Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport. Please picture me… sunburned, covered in rash, runny nose, tangled hair… sitting on a steamer trunk at baggage claim C11.
And that might not be that bad, if a couple years later she hadn't forgotten to pick me up from our 8th grade Washington DC trip. Thank God I went to school were she taught – my history teacher knew what my parents were like- so he wasn't alarmed when I was the only kid left standing. And that might not be that bad, if when I called her… she had't thought it was my sister and totally forgotten that I existed.
So if you ever wonder why I need immediate responses to texts, immediate call backs, why I like to drive or why if I don't hear from you for awhile I start to stalk you…well, its simply because I assume that like my parents – you've forgotten about me.