Sunday, November 11, 2007


Yep. Thirty-three years ago today, at 11:17 p.m., I greeted the scene—the third (I just blew your mind) of four children. And you're all thanking your lucky stars.

For your pleasure, I decided that for the remainder of the month, I will mark every third year of this occasion (on the date corresponding with the year of my life) with a tidbit of whatever I can recall from that year in my life. Ok, so this is not so much for your pleasure (though it pleases me if it pleases you), as it is for me think about where I've been and how I got to where I am. It will also give me something to write about for seven of the remaining nineteen days.

Because I'm launching this brainchild on the eleventh day, my birth date, I've got to get you up to speed, quick-like.

birth. Minnesota.
Don't recall a thing, though I have to say that my expression seems one of amused disbelief. I'm pretty sure ma told me that she had doubts about whether the nurses had accidentally swapped me with another baby because I looked like a little Eskimo.

three. Minnesota.
My very first memories are from this time. Some good: climbing everything. I loved to climb. We had these weird windows that had slates of glass that cranked open like blinds. Climbed up those. Climbed up to the top of a pine tree to rescue a stupid cat that then ran back up the damn tree. Some bad: mom and dad fighting. In a rage, Dad obliterated mom's tomato plant. Envision red splatted on the wall. Not good. Some portentous: (Actually, the last one could fall in this category, too.) An early testimony from my mother as to my stubbornness and demand for respect:
I remember distinctly an incident in the kitchen where you had pulled out all of the canned goods for the umteenth time and I lost my patience - you absolutely refused to help me put the cans back in the cupboard until I asked you nicely; scolding did not work, in fact scolding just made you dig in your heels and refuse to cooperate in any way. That was at age 3.
I remember this. I closed my eyes when she caught me. Thought that if I couldn't see her, she couldn't see me. No such luck.

six. Minnesota.
Self portrait with caption that reads, "Erin in her school uniform." Started kindergarten at a small, private Baptist school. I was painfully, debilitatingly shy. Embarrassing confession: the teacher took the class for a bathroom trip. I didn't want to go with them, but I had to pee so I found another receptacle: the container for little plastic toys for the classroom's sandbox.

nine. Texas.
Nothing in particular sticks out in my mind about this year. By this time, third grade, I had gone to four different elementary schools, but we'd been at this location since the middle of my second grade year. The start of the school year always brought anxiety. Loved school. Loved school supplies. Reuniting with or meeting new people scared the bejeezus out of me.

Stay tuned for twelve.