Six and Goofy


Six is awfully young for an almost fifty five year old to be aspiring to, but then again, maybe not.

At six years old I was short…not that I’ve grown much through the years, but at six I think I qualified as a “little person.” I know because someone had a Patty Play Pal doll that was a bit taller than me-at least for a little while.

Anyway, being that small had its good and bad points. Being that young meant that most of those perks were mine strictly by age, but as luck would have it my height allowed me to go into certain movies for a lower price for quite a few years. Luckily I’d grown a few inches before A Hard Days’ Night came out!

Being six also meant I could still be a kid…do those goofy things kids do that at the time seem ultra-tragic but in retrospect were just examples of well honed goofiness. And I was a goofy kid.

For example: I pretended to be a rabbit. Fine. But I wasn’t your ordinary every day kid playing Easter Bunny. Nooooooooo! I WAS a Rabbit! I told everyone who saw me that day that I was a rabbit….this included my mom, the mailman, neighbors, strangers and friends. Ever the method actor, I threw myself head first into the role, hopping about and munching on a patch of lawn.

You know that look people give you when they think someone should call somebody to come and take you far, far away? Mmmmmm. Yep. That one.

Needless to say I remember that taste every time I drink wheat grass juice, and am comforted in the fact that just maybe I was a little ahead of my time on that grassy knoll.

At six I started grade school, too. First grade Catholic School. I had horrible eczema on my arms and mom had to rub lotion on them every morning before putting on my long sleeved school uniform shirt. As the oldest, my poor sister had charge of all us youngsters until we were old enough to get to school on our own. She was an excellent shepherd.

I remember the first day of school, seeing the other kids, hearing the various signal bells….the nuns fascinated me. Especially my first year teacher, Sister Kevin Maureen. She was a “Mac,” that is she was from the order of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. At first she seemed a million miles tall, with her long flowing navy blue habit, scapular, “bib”, wimple and veil.

She was sweet and patient. She took ill during that first year and the class was, for some reason, divided and sent into other classes during Sister Kevin’s illness. For some reason I couldn’t remember where to go so I just sort of cruised the different classes for a few days-careful to avoid the ones where my brothers or sister might be!

These days that probably couldn’t happen but back then there were about 60 or so kids in each class to begin with….counting was a luxury after a while, so I guess as long as each chair had a butt in it, somebody was in attendance.

Anyway, by the time anybody realized I was elsewhere, Sister Kevin came back and everyone (including me) was back where they were supposed to be. All was right with the world heading into that first summer of my academic life…math seemed simple and I already knew how to read from home.

My classmates were okay so far, although some had attitudes about me, which is understandable considering I’d told them I was from Neptune. Talk about a rough commute! As I said, I was a goofy kid.

But that was the beauty of it, being able to be goofy and not get slandered to the point of slaughter like what happens when we’re older. Gawd! People rake each other over the coals for the simplest thing, then wonder why nobody wants to talk face to face with anybody any more. Political correctness is important, dignity and respect are essential to communication but for crying out loud already! Let’s stop making it so dangerous that we dare not communicate openly. I think what we really need to remember is common sense and manners.

Not every observation is intended as liable, not every act of silliness is grounds for litigation. I’m just saying, hey! Think it over.

There ought to at least be a holiday where everybody gets to be childlike…make it be for a weekend, because we really need it BAD. Throw a few picnics, wear some beanie copter hats, fly a kite or two…maybe even pretend to be a rabbit and eat a patch of grass. Why not?

So anyway, that’s why today for me Fifty Five is the New Six. Because it is okay to be a rabbit every once in a while.

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