It's Hard for Him to Remember
He wishes he could remember more about his childhood, but no matter how hard he tries, memories before his teenage years practically eluded his mind.
He can remember a few though and the first one that comes to mind is just a small snippet.
He was in kindergarden and he remembers having to climb up some stairs. At the top of those stairs was a room filled with huge blocks that looked like the blocks on some of the homes in his neighborhood. Some buddies and he began building with these blocks and he was surprised at how light they were when they looked so heavy! What to build, what to build. They began piling block upon block and before long a fort was built. How much fun they had playing in that fort!!
His first real memory was one of taking a trip. One morning Momma woke him up an told him to get dressed. He couldn’t understand why she was waking him up so early, but he loved Momma and did what she asked.
After getting dressed he went through the house and smelled something yummy..breakfast!! Sitting down and eating quickly he wondered what was going on.
After breakfast Momma told him to gather up his things and get in the car. He could feel the excitment in the air and with each mile got more and more anxious.
Daddy was driving and Momma was sitting beside him. They were talking and laughing and he just couldn’t stand it any longer..
"Momma, where are we going?"
Sitting back in the seat he wasn’t happy about the answer he received.
After a while Daddy asked him if he could read the sign that was in front of them.
He tried really hard, but right now all he could read was little words and this was a big word.
"No. What does it say?"
"Welcome to Michigan!"
Sitting back again he thought Michigan? We live in Indiana. He’d looked at the map of the United States in his classroom and he knew that they were in a different state. This wasn’t making any sense….
After a while, Daddy started slowing down and they pulled into this place called Deer Forest.
He asked Momma what Deer Forest was and she replied again, "You’ll see." If nothing else, he decided that he didn’t like that answer to a question. Funny thing is, years later he would do that to his own children……
After parking, they got out of the car and paid for their tickets. Momma also paid for a big, colorful key. What in the world could a key that big be used for??
They walked through a gate and he walked into a fairytale!!! He looked around with big, wide eyes and couldn’t believe what he was seeing!! He saw Humpty Dumpty and Jack and the Beanstalk. He saw Old Mother Hubbard and The Old Woman in the Shoe. Scene after scene and they all looked like they jumped out of his rhyme books!! Daddy took the key and showed him how to put it into a box in front of each scene. When you turned the key, someone inside the box would start telling the rhyme!! It was the coolest thing he’d ever seen in his young life!
After the nursery rhymes there were a few rides you could ride on. Rides like he rode on at the fair, only smaller.
He was having so much fun that he didn’t notice his tummy rumbling, but when Momma suggested they sit down and eat the picnic lunch they had brought, he didn’t object! He can’t remember what they ate, but Momma was a good cook and she’d always taken such good care of him…he knew it was good whatever it was.
After eating they began walking again. They came up on a petting zoo. He wasn’t sure what that was, but after just a moment he knew. They actually let you pet the animals!! There were goats and rabbits and llamas and deer…hey!!…maybe that was why this place was called Deer Forest. There were alot of trees and here were the deer…made sense to him.
Daddy would take a quarter every now and then and put it in a machine that looked like a gumball machine at the dime store. When he would turn the knob, corn would come out instead of bubblegum. He would give it to his son and then the little boy would hold out his hand so the deer would eat out of it!! That was scary and exciting at the same time!! He was amazed that the deer would even come so close to him, much less eat out of his hand!
All too soon the day came to an end and it was time to go home. As they piled back in the car, he laid down in the back seat. It had been a wonderful day and he would remember this forever.
And he did…..