When my daughter asks for stories at night the request inevitably involves something from my childhood. I truly did some ridiculously funny things as a kid and for whatever reason my daughter loves to hear those stories.
I was born in Vancouver BC so most of the stories that my daughter hears revolve around life in Port Moody where I grew up. I can’t say that there was a huge cultural difference between Portland and Vancouver but there were definitely different attitudes toward parenting, school, being a kid etc. More than anything, it was a different time.
When I was about five we had an apple tree in our back yard and even though the apples weren’t ripe yet I kept asking if I could pick a few. Being the wise woman that she was, my Mom told me not to pick any of the apples on the tree. Being the enterprising child that I was, I decided to climb the tree and take a bite out of each apple while still leaving them safely attached to their respective branches. Of course I was found out and that evening we had “bad boy apple pie.” This is my daughter’s favorite story.
When I was growing up it was considered a good thing for kids to be away from the house getting fresh air. Most of the time we were unsupervised and having the time of our lives. Occasionally bad things would happen with all that freedom. Like the time that I convinced the local ma and pa grocery owner that my Dad needed a carton of cigarettes. My Dad doesn’t smoke. On that particular day; however, I did. Although I truly don’t remember much of this, the story is that I got all the way through most of the carton of cigarettes before getting hopelessly sick and eventually barfing all over my sister’s shoes. I’m thoroughly convinced that my NBA career was derailed on that day when my family’s genes and all those carcinogens teamed up to limit my heighth to 5′ 9 or thereabouts.
Some of the stories still make me laugh to this day. Everyone has had some psycho cat in their lives and my family was no different. Our cat was definitely not quite right in the head and she was completely unpredictable. We used to leave the bathroom window slightly open and our cat would jump in from the window when she wanted in to our house. On one occasion we were gone on vacation and I shut the window right as we were leaving. Fortunately for our cat, a neighbor lady next door left her bathroom window open too. It must have come as such a surprise when the cat landed on her head while she was using the bathroom. I never did tell my neighbor that I was the one that shut the window.
Someday my daughter will have a child to share her own stories with. For her child’s sake, I hope that she gets into enough trouble to impart some wisdom and a healthy sense of humor. For my sake, I hope she just retells my stories.