When we were all little Piermans at home, there were 11 of us–eight girls. Why did my parents have 11 kids? No clear answer. In our case we weren’t even Catholic so no one knows the Why. As No. 11, I don’t ask the Why. It could have just been a prank. Because Mom:
When I was still toddling, my oldest sister, Judy, was a teenager. She remembers that her baby sisters were always dirty and, I quote here, “had suckers in their hair”. We also had boogers, we sometimes were shoeless and, to her point, I can’t remember having my hair combed. I guess it could’ve housed a sucker.
My memory? We were called “The Three Little Kids”, born less than three years apart, all in the early ’60s. Dorothy. I both loathed and loved her. Cowered at her glance and craved her affection. She was my Alpha and Omega. And Rebekah. She told wonderful magical stories of a giraffe named “Draffy” who ate pepperoni pizza. She had curly hair and that one lazy eye and she had a pet water balloon. Ah, the wonder and bliss of my childhood.
[End dream; enter reality]. Today I met my childhood Doppelgänger in the form of a little French kid at a Parisian crêperie, along with her Dorothy and Rebekah sibling equivalents. They were twisty and squirmy, their socks didn’t match, and they yelled while banging their silverware on their plates and colored on surfaces not meant to be colored.
The Me had certainly never seen a comb. The Dorothy, dropped his binkie on the floor which was retrieved from under our feet and then popped right back into his too-old-to-take-a-binkie mouth. The Rebekah, puked, just as my crêpe was being delivered. There was even a brief dodge-ball game.
Is it possible that my ideal childhood never really existed? The thing is, the family stopped taking pictures sometime in the 50’s so there’s actually no evidence that The Three Little Kids were ever booger-faced sucker-wearing disasters. But, I dunno. It seems more likely than not.
Mom and Dad. Seriously. Why?