FWF: Childhood gift


I’d like to start by saying I try to read ALL the posts from Kellie Elmore’s FWF. It did not happen this week. Just one of those crazy busy times. I would say that I’m going to catch up this week, but the likelihood is I’ll be lucky to catch up on this week’s postings. If there is anyone out there who would really like me to read it, post it here. This is, after all, I literary site I set up for women. (Although I’ve now decided everyone can post here).

Now with that aside, this week’s prompt: http://kellieelmore.com/2013/08/30/fwf-free-write-friday-childhood-gift/, and this week’s write:

There are three gifts I remember VERY vividly from childhood, and so I’ll write about each of them here. I’m noticing that what I actually remember is the emotion surrounding the gifts, not necessarily the gifts themselves.

One was a pretty little ring given to me by my grandmother. I’m pretty sure it was hers as a girl, although I remember very little about the ring itself. What I do remember is this…

I went to the bathroom to wash my hands…you can see where this is going…

I’ve always been a little on the tiny side, and my fingers are especially thin. I washed my hands, and then…oops, I guess there’s no more paper towels. I will just shake my hands out…fling!

A tinkling sound as the ring hit the drain in the center of the bathroom floor, wavered a moment, then got sucked directly down. The result? Complete and utter anguish on my part. The janitor was my friend; he looked vigilantly for it to no avail. My teacher, my favorite person and a most beautiful soul, could not console me. My grandmother told me later it didn’t really matter, her father had given it to her, and he was a mean old bastard, so maybe it had gone down the drain to meet him in hell.

My other memory is of my first 10-speed. A beautiful navy blue Peugeot. What I remember is not especially the bike (which I rode for years), but the clues which “Santa” (aka my dad) had written on a card so that I had to search through the house to find it–it was in the basement. I don’t remember all the clues, but it began as a poem, “What’s blue as a robin’s egg…” followed by the poem that led me down to the basement. I loved the finding of that gift.

The final, and maybe most precious, is a handmade gift from my grandmother (the OTHER one, although from what I understand, her dad was a real SOB too). My grandmother asked me if I wanted a “chocolate” or “vanilla” baby for my birthday. Thinking it was a baby-shaped cake, I said “chocolate.” When I was little, I referred to people not by color but by flavor. My friend B was vanilla, my friend W was chocolate, and I was coffee. The result was a beautiful hand-sewn baby doll with sewn in eye-lashes, wearing my favorite color (taxi cab yellow) dress. CHOCOLATE, of course. I was delighted with my baby doll, and told my other relatives where they could stick it when they made inappropriate remarks. I’ll have to get that baby doll out of storage (she is wrapped up because she is quite delicate), and post a picture here. She really is gorgeous.

Thanks Kellie. What happy memories to send me into the weekend (a working weekend, so well needed).

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10 thoughts on “FWF: Childhood gift

  1. Awww… we both lost the precious gift of a little ring. 😦 I love the story about the chocolate baby doll with the taxi cab yellow dress! Such wonderful memories! Thanks so much for sharing. 🙂

  2. Thanks Carolyn! When I read yours, my heart nearly burst…oh the torment and the anguish! I’m pretty sure it took me months to recover.

  3. I love what your grandmother told you…”he was a mean old bastard, so maybe it had gone down the drain to meet him in hell.” That line made me laugh. Sorry you lost your ring. Love all the memories 🙂

  4. What a fabulous piece of writing. Your wonderful memories made me smile. Your grandmother sounds like a great person.

  5. You are right-it is always the emotion surround the gift that we remember so well. My first “Barbie” was actually Christie, a black afro-haired part of my future collection in that family. I also remember when my bro and I got ten speeds. We rode those bikes on some very big trips throughout the state. Great way to kill summer boredom. But I love the memory of the ring and what your grandma said. She sounds like a hot ticket!

  6. Love what your grandmother said. Made me laugh. 🙂 Reading these submissions is bringing back so many memories of my own gifts, like the 10 speed or the canopy beds my sister and I begged for and received one Christmas. Great read! 🙂

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