I remember getting superman ice cream from the shop on Macomb Street.
I remember the hottest summer day our city has ever seen. I ran around outside with friends, because the dangers of extended heat exposure didn’t matter.
I remember my very first kitten. My mom promised to let me adopt one once I stopped biting my nails when I was five.
I remember my mom got rid of that kitten two weeks later, because she didn’t like her. I don’t know why I didn’t start biting my nails again.
I remember being accepted to college.
I remember always wanting to go to the playscape, but my mom always had some type of excuse to stop me.
I remember staying with my Nana and Gramps, playing with the neighbor boys, and falling asleep to the awakening nights.
I remember riding my kitten, Boo Kitty, around in the basket of my new plastic tricycle.
I remember always wanting to ride my bike to school, but my mom said no, because I would get too tired.
I remember her being right.
I remember when my dad saved that two year old boy’s life. He had fallen into the canal, and stopped breathing by the time he was discovered. We were right down the street when the call came through. My dad was first on the scene, and once that boy began breathing, he didn’t let go of him until the ambulance got to the hospital. I thought he deserved an award.
I remember falling asleep every day in my 10th grade math class.
I remember staying at my grandparents’ house. My Grandma would always put me to bed and say, “See you when the sun comes up!”
I remember the night she killed herself.
I remember the very first time a boy told me he loved me. I thought life couldn’t get any better.
I remember my very first trip to Disney. I was six, my brother was almost two. We drove down in my Papa’s blue Astro, and stayed at my Great-Grandma’s house.
I remember my first midnight show. I saw Harry Potter with a bunch of friends.
I remember moving one time each year until I was eleven.
I remember always being the shortest person in all my classes.
I remember being afraid of spiders and small spaces. I still am. One summer, at a cheerleading camp, I had a panic attack during a group hug. Someone had to lift me above the swarm of girls to get me to stop crying.
I remember when Beanie Babies were popular. I still have the very first one I bought.
I remember when my dad came home from Japan.
I remember the first time I smoked weed. My mind had never been so clear.
I remember when the Fire Department named one of the ambulances after my Papa.
I remember having no place to go after my parents got divorced.
I remember my very first concert. I saw Reba McEntire on August 13, 1995, the day before my fifth birthday.
I remember falling asleep during her second song.
I remember being a part of the Island Fest parade every year.
I remember when the Island Fest was called the Azalea Festival.
I remember sitting in front of my TV for two days watching The Nightmare Before Christmas over and over and over. I kept wearing out the VHS and my family had to buy me new copies.
I remember winning first place two years in a row at my cheerleading competitions.
I remember when we first got a computer, and the fact that my dad could type without looking at the keys amazed me.
I remember when sitting in the back of the bus was for the older kids only.
I remember my very first dance recital, and hating tap the most.
I remember sitting on the floor for an hour while my mom got her hair and nails done at the salon every week.
I remember winning the newspaper’s Halloween writing contest my freshman year of high school.
I remember when I first started playing Neopets.
I remember publishing my first poem.
I remember reading a book called Speak, and crying because I related to it too much.
I remember when Meredith and I discovered Sudoku puzzles. Life really couldn’t get any better.
I remember the Blackout of 2003. It happened on my 13th birthday, and an hour before my party. For three days I wondered why the world hated me.
I remember not understanding why we went to church. If there was some creator figure, he wouldn’t let children be treated this way.
I remember seeing things happen before they actually did.
I remember saying grace at family dinners at my Grandparents’ house every Sunday night.
I remember when I found enjoyment out of taking all the Disney movies out of their cases, mixing them up, then putting them all back in the correct cases.
I remember only being allowed to ride my bike alone to the stop sign, and riding up to Macomb with my parents and little brother. We had one of those covered carriers that could attach to the back wheel of my dad’s bike. He always fell asleep. We would stop by Kroger and bring home groceries. The ride home was always cold.
I don’t remember when we stopped being a family.