Bio: Birthdays and Rituals

There are several categories of memories that I remember when I was around two years old. Some have to do with happy times (thank God for the happy memories) with family and friends — or normal, everyday times, such as . . .

pushing the dining chair across the linoleum floor to the kitchen cabinets; lugging over the biggest books I could find and carry, one at a time, from the living room and stacking them on the chair; climbing the stack of books so I could get on top of the counter; then reaching down and grabbing the top book so I could pull it onto the counter top and stand on it to open the upper cabinet; then climbing the shelves on the upper cabinet to get to the upmost shelf where Mommy had stashed my favorite snack.

Or . . .

climbing the shelves in the hallway beside my room to try to find the Vitamin C bottle that I knew was kept there. They were so tasty, and that day, I had decided I wanted one. But I found out there were several different vitamin bottles, all with different writing, and since I couldn’t read the labels, I opened them up to smell and to see if I could recognize the smell of the one I wanted. But all the smells mingled in my nose and started to smell the same, and I wasn’t completely sure which one was Vitamin C. I thought I knew, but there was doubt in my mind, and with Mommy’s warning ringing in my ears (“Don’t get into these because they will make you really really sick”), I was afraid to try the one I thought was probably the Vitamin C because I didn’t want to get the wrong one and die. So not being able to read the labels on the vitamin bottles that day was the catalyst that pushed me to teach myself how to read, and by the time I was four, I could read anything put in front of me.

But some memories have to do with fights and screaming and crying. And others have to do with rituals and programming and a hospital and a wheelchair and a nurse who looked nice but who threatened to chop my fingers off if I didn’t stop playing with the wheel of the wheelchair.

A Birthday

I have snippets of memories from my first birthday, of course

Read the rest:

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