In grammar school, I was a shy, gangly, hopeful, long haired strawberry blonde with a wide-open heart. I grew up in a family of 8, although my two older half-sisters only stayed with us a couple of weekends a month. I was the oldest of the 4 children living full time with my mother and father. My younger siblings were my dad, Cedric’s biological children and he had adopted me from my ne-er do well Bio Dad. My mother was a young mother. She had me when she was 18 and relied on me to be her confidante, her assistant, her childcare provider, sous chef, and sometimes executive chef, house cleaner and whatever else she could come up with. She was all over me most all of the time. Ours was a small and crowded house with only one bathroom. Finding any type of privacy was impossible so when my presence was not required by my mother, I took to the woods across the street from my house on Berwick Road. I really wanted to walk to Ogunquit Beach but I wasn’t allowed. I lived in nature throughout all 4 seasons but I particularly loved the warmer months, especially summer but spring would do. Once the snow had melted from the interminable Maine winter and the ground had thawed to a crunchy dry cold base, I leapt, fleet footed as a doe over to the heavily treed sanctuary, wrapped up tight and warm in my usual soft Danskin mock turtleneck, topped with a fleece lined brown corduroy jacket, sage green wide brimmed hat that my grandmother knitted for me, size slim boys’ blue and black plaid pants (I was too thin and long for girls’ slacks) with my well-worn work boot type tan shoes over argyle socks. Gloriously hidden from my demanding family, I lay on the luxurious mossy bed of the forest, surrounded by the smell of teaberries basking in the sunlight and staring up at the clouds being swept along by the wind. I was never without my journal – a wire spiraled bound orange lined paper 8 x 10 notebook. In it I dreamed of what was possible. Even at the tender age of 7, I knew what I wanted from the world – mutual love and respect, fun, adventure and a place to be myself, wholly myself.
Too Real Tuesday Writing Prompt ~ Write about a time in your life when you felt most authentically you. Describe it fully. Relive it as you write.