20. Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood.
Hmmm Let's see....I had a pretty terrific childhood.
1) I remember being in Monrovia, Liberia during the Rice Riots. What I remember specifically was that night the unrest started, my dad put my sister and I in the backseat of our white VW Beetle as we drove across town to pick my mom up from a baby shower or something...we were directed to pull over by a man in army fatigues holding an automatic weapon. His friend was leaning on him and had a bloody wound in his side. He wanted my dad to drive them to the hospital. The smell of blood and the deranged look is what I will never forget. Dad didn't drive them to the hospital. After speaking with them, he turned the car around and took us home. Later that night, my mom's friend's husband (who was a native) was able to get mom home. What I remember most about that incident was that was the night I realized that the world is a dangerous place.
2) Playing in the sprinklers in the yard. Ahh fun times. When I was supposed to water the lawn, I would turn on the sprinkler, go and get my wonder woman swim suit and red rain boots and run through the water...Don't judge me...lol I loved wonder woman.
3) LOL this is going to be long but the day I got the beatdown of my life by my mom.
I am a 70s baby. Born in the bell-bottom-Angela-Davis-Afro-Saturday-Night-Fever-Double-Dutch-Bus-Big-Nose-Dark-Skin-Michael-Jackson 70's. I grew up wondering The Facts of Life, thinking about Good Times and how we could keep it All in the Family. All I wanted was Fame. My most vivid memory of the 80s was triggered when I told my then 14 year old to "Bring me the belt." He looked at me like . When I tell you he musta lost his mind...I tell you the truth. So he says "I can't find it." My house was only a few years old so I didn't have any good switch trees yet....but I was thinking about getting me an apple tree or a weeping willow...they got some good beat 'em down branches ...so anywho I was sitting there like this fuming....and I had a flashback.......
Nice April day 1986 in Jackson, Mississippi. It was Senior Class skip day...I know everyone remembers Senior Skip day...Going to the park grilling...just chilling all day long. Cool right...yeah except I was a sophomore. But I was a nerd and most of my classes were filled with Seniors that needed those classes to graduate. So fast forward to that day. Me and my girls had a plan. They were going to pick me up down the street from my house, down by the bus stop. We were going to roll to Mickey D's then head to the park for volleyball, spades, boy watching and dancing. The morning of the "festivities" I got up as usual and said "Bye" to my mom. Now, my mom worked retail so I never knew her schedule, I think that was by design. I was trying to see if she had work clothes on her bed or something. Not that she woulda headed over to the park that day but you know in case my girls wanted to head to the mall, I would know whether or not we could go to THAT mall. I leave on time, headed toward the bus stop. Down at the stop, I threw my books in the bushes (my bag had my park clothes in it, along with my sister's walkman that she didn't know I borrowed) Nervously, I kept glancing up the street toward my house because between my momma and the neighbors, someone was gonna be on their way to work and catch me if my girls didn't hurry up. Finally they roll up and we are like 7 deep in a 82 Buick Regal (2 door at that) but we rolling doo-doo we rolling.... We go eat and I change into my "Park clothes" We had a blast! The weather cooperated, and we were on schedule getting me back to the 'bus stop' so that I could get home. Everything seemed perfect until I realized I lost my sister's walkman... it was downhill from there....I picked up my books out of the bushes and head toward the house. As I get a little closer to the yard...I see my mom out there raking grass so it was like "uh-oh, someone is in trouble.....but it ain't me cause I'm on time." Ya'll I had the nerve to be cheesing cause I was known as "The informer" I told on errybody. Ok lemme explain about the raking of the grass, I know ya'll are wondering HOW that meant someone was in trouble. First, my mom didn't rake the grass, she said she had kids for that. Second, she was raking so hard it was creating dirt clouds and she looked like Pig Pen from Charlie Brown. I continued to walk toward the house and as I got to the screendoor and grabbed the handle I heard her come up behind me and say, "How was school?"
Keep yo' eye on da doo'knob I thought and I said "Fine."
My mom is a no-nonsense, cut to the chase, say what is on her mind person. So her response, "How would you know since yo' black azz wasn't there."
How she know dat?!?!?!?! (I later found out that the school secretary called EVERYONE's house -this was before the days of the recorded messages. My mom just HAPPENED to be off that day or she would not have gotten that call)
I am The Informer but my sister is The Instigator. The Instigator was about 10 and she was standing in the door...."Want me to get chu a switch ma...I'll cut chu one....you want a big one?" She looked like this in the door jumping around tryna be 'helpful' I was so not feeling her right then so I shove The Instigator on my way in the house. My mom then had me go in the den (family room for yall new school folks *smile*) and push all the furniture against the walls mostly blocking the hall entrance as she stood in the kitchen entrance. Lemme give you an image of the room. It had 3 entrances. One entrance was from the kitchen, the other from the hallways that lead to the bedrooms. The third entrance took up almost the whole wall and was a sliding glass door that lead out to the patio in the backyard. The Instigator put the rocking chair on the porch so she could face the room and watch. Unbeknownst to me, The Instigator not only locked the sliding door but put the stick in the door and opened the curtains. We had this 3 foot long stick that was about two inches thick that would put in the back of the door for security. While I was pushing the furniture against the walls, my mom is braiding the switch and talking to herself. "How was school...fine...her azz ain't seen a damn school today!"
"Ma, lemme explain....."
"Shaddup...I wasn't talking to YOOOOOOOOOOOOOOU!"
So The Instigator is rocking back and forth in the chair and I am getting the say-a-word-with-every-lick-beatdown I was getting beat with a braided up trio of apple tree limbs...and she had me by the arm like this mayne....I'm finna tell you the first time I got loose, I was sprawled against the glass door trying to get it open...my face was against the glass but I see The Instigator looking at me like this rocking in the chair with the dog in her lap. I know I hollared for her to "Help Me!" that cow turned her chair around and faced the yard. I felt a snatch on my arm followed by a "Don't chu ruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuun from me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
I thought I was gone that day...I really did...but after the beatdown was over and the furniture was pushed back into place, in between my snot-breathe-huff-sobs.....I managed to yell out "Imma call the child abuse on you." My mom turned around and the look on her face was like as she said "Lemme give you something to call 'em for." She went and got a NEW set of switches and wore me out again. After she was finished she set the phone and phonebook beside me and said, "When you call, make sure they gonna take yo black azz in."
I am no fool, I didn't touch that phone nor that phone book. But I resolved that day that when I had kids, I would never beat them down like that.
......So he still hadn't found the belt.... I calmly went upstairs to get the reserved-for-special-out-of-the-ordinary-you-need-to-get-it belt that I kept hidden in my room, just in case he wouldn't bring me the belt. And as I wore his behind out, holding him by the arm I found myself screaming "Don't chu ruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuun from me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" You betta (Read The freakin' manual) Beatdowns are required in parenthood.
PS In 2008 I went to my 20th class reunion... I got lost going to the very same park that got me the beatdown...needless to say my mom was with me and her comment was "You should know where this damn park is...isn't it the one you got cho' ass beat behind?!?!?!" ahhhhhhhhh 22 years later...the irony. LOL