Hi. I’m new.
Oh…introduce myself? Oh…um, okay.
Once there was this time when my mom’s husband left and we came home to no furniture in our house. Even the brown-ish plaid, scratchy stuff that was ours when it was just me and Mama. But that seems…yeah…not what you’re looking for.
Then there was the time we were a family with a home. A mom and a dad and two kids, sort of cramped into a single-wide, but not really cramped at all. And then we moved to a new home. And then one day we saw our old home and all its memories being pulled down the road and we cried, Mama and I. But, well…that’s probably not what you meant, either.
But what about that time I went to school and I was bullied for being smart because I always said what I thought? Or a girl with a weird idea about fashion who carried a teddy-bear backpack? What about when the kids called me “cow” and mooed at me when I walked down the hall? What about when I went home crying every day because the kids were so mean?
Oh, that’s not right either…
What about the times when I sat at my apartment, lonely and homesick, after I moved away from home for a new start?
What about being diagnosed with depression and anxiety in college and with postpartum depression and anxiety after I became a mom? Yeah, that’s…that’s, uh, depressing.
Wait! No. Let me try again.
What about the summers I spent on my Pops’ farm feeding piglets with bottles and chasing turkeys and chickens and picking fresh blueberries and pretending I was sailing off on some grand adventure in the upstairs of the playhouse he built for me and my cousins?
What about knowing that even if there wasn’t much money, there was love? Lots and lots of love.
What about when, after we’d all grown up a little bit, we became friends, those bullies and I? And what about when those bullies and those experiences made me a better, more sympathetic teacher?
What about that night I went out with my roommate? Finally. And met the man I’ll spend the rest of my life with when he stole a kiss through an open window.
What about the time I realized that the battles I’ve fought with PPD/A, no matter how awful at times, have made me stronger? Braver? Tenacious?
What about that time when Joshua said ‘Mama…tee!’ and handed me a train so I could play with him because no one plays trains quite like Mama does?
What about that time I realized this life thing I have is pretty awesome?
What about that?
This was written in response to The Red Dress Club’s weekly memoir prompt.
We were asked to write about one episode of our lives that defines us.