I remember long plaits and blue ribbons. I remember learning the recorder and singing in the infants choir. I remember a windy day, a very windy day. I remember holding up my arms to protect myself from the biting dust and leaves blowing in through the door as I left class that day. But seared on my conscience is the memory of when I told my Mother I hated her and ran away from home.
With all the fury of a six-year-old, I yelled, I slammed doors, I packed my bag and I left.
Now, my Mother, having a stronger basis for self-esteem than the affections of her children, though no doubt cut by my words, was soon in command of the situation. She came to me, floundering as I was at the end of the driveway, not sure whether to turn left or right let alone of my destination.
Said she, “Have you packed your toothbrush?”
Said I, “No.”
“Have you packed your hairbrush?”
“Have you packed clean undies?”
“No.” [at which point you may be wondering what indeed I did pack!!]
“Well, then. Come home and have some lunch and after lunch we’ll pack your bag properly and then you can run away.”
And so I went home and ate lunch and promptly forgot all about that bag.
I wonder if you have memories of being six you’d like to share?