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What’s your earliest memory involving another person? Recreate the scene — from the other person’s perspective.

“Mom, Mom. I just flew down the stairs!” I yelled as I came into the kitchen.

“Where did you fly?” she asked.

“Down the stairs” I replied. “My feet just lifted off the floor and I was flying.”

“Well, that’s quite an accomplishment,” my mother said to her three year old daughter.

“It was wonderful. Just like being a bird,” I thought.

The blue house in Parma, Ohio (made popular by Drew Carey) is the first house I remember, and only in bits and pieces. But I remember the staircase well. I was one of those that came halfway down, then turned at a 180 degree angle and went to the main level. I would run down the first section, then fly down the second. I was convinced of it until I reached an age when I knew no such thing was possible. In my thoughts of childhood it still feels real.

I also remember the configurations of the house, and it’s screened in porch and the fireplace we lit in the winter. A big tree shaded the whole front yard. If we had a garage, it was detached. I believe it was the first home my parents had purchased because I was born on the second day of my father’s bar exams, and my mother didn’t tell him about my arrival ’til he had finished the whole battery of tests.

My mother remembered it with less fondness because it was one of those house built with a crawl space, and mice in the house were a constant problem. Shortly thereafter we moved to a rambler with a basement, but I never flew down stairs again.

Of course my mother knew, too, that my imagination was in high gear. Children are always running, and anxious (unlike adults) to begin each new day so dashing down the stairs was quite normal. I was an only child then, and my parents, still happy in the marriage and being relatively new parents, were content to let me believe the impossible.

I photo I love is one where we are standing outside that house with a our car, a 1950 Packard, all dressed for cold weather.

Packard 1950 EightClubSedanI love that I believed I was flying, and that mother mother didn’t dash my hopes that I could. What wonderful, impossible, ideas children have, and what great memories to cherish in the future (even when we know the truth).

 

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