Friday, January 04, 2013

The window seat, mostly affords a view of the harbor over the neighboring building, but a small section of the wharf is visible that has a bench on it. On summer days the bench is occupied by elderly men doing what old men do and in the evening, it is teens who are hanging about. Sitting there reading I noticed two young girls sitting there the day after Christmas. It was obvious they were enthralled with each other, talking a lot with much touching and laughing. Finally one touched the cheek of the other and leaned in and kissed her, quickly backing off. The two were still for a few seconds and the second leaned in and they kissed, this time holding for several seconds. Then they were gone.

The next day I was tramping the rough ground beyond the town that leads toward the ocean with Wags and I spotted them again walking hand in hand. I guessed that maybe they were thirteen. Wags was having a grand old time flushing birds and chasing rabbits and when I saw them again they were embracing only to be disturbed by Wags chasing a fleeing hare. Then they spotted me and ran off. This morning In the café they were together again and I could see that I was correct about their age. Mirelle nudged me and whispered, "do you remember being in love at that age?" I did.

In the school district where I grew up, a child needed be six years old by the first of September, to start in first grade and parent's whose child was born after June 1, had the option of holding the child back a year or sending them. My parents sent me. As a result I was always the youngest kid and class and also the smallest, being petite anyway only made the difference greater. I'd struggle academically for the first few months each year, catch up and be near the top of the class at years end. Socially things were jarring. No one sent me the memo when Barbie became uncool, I still liked playing with my dolls when the others had moved on. As adolescence approached a couple of my friends had cleavage when I was still in t-shirts. To spare me the social ridicule, Mom took me to buy a training bra long before there was anything to train. My first period was almost a relief, finally I thought.  Once I heard Mom commenting to a friend, "at least Kim's not boy crazy like Grace was." No I wasn't boy crazy and almost didn't know that they existed.

During the summer before entering high school my friends noted that Caleb had a crush on me and that Caleb was well, cute and maybe I should let him hang around with me. So I did. Caleb's family had a lake place and on the far side of the lake a cousin's family did to. The last weekend before school started the two families had a camp out, boys on one side of the lake, girls on the other and I was invited.

There were 10 girls, about the same age and rather than a large sleep over in the living room, they had several tents. I was paired up with Lindsey, a cousin of Caleb's on his mother's side. We hit it off, I was smitten as was she. We talked in our tent till we fell asleep and the next day we took off in a canoe. Lindsey was familiar with the lake and knew of a pond that existed beyond a beaver dam, we dragged the canoe over the dam and paddle up the stream till it opened into a small valley. We paddled to the shore intending to swim and it was there that she kissed me. I had never felt anything like it, I had kissed Caleb and that was like kissing my brother, but Lindsey! I can still remember the sparks.  Knowing that we were treading on forbidden turf, we kept a small distance during the day but smooched in the tent, covered by the light shower that deadened the sound.

She lived in a neighboring school district, so I couldn't see her at school, so we tried getting together on weekends, often staying over at each other's homes. Thanksgiving came and I had much to be thankful for, my siblings were home and I was in love. After dinner Kenny, Grace and Leah went off to visit with their friends and I called Lindsey. Her mother answered and I was told never to call again, confused I hung up and began crying, the realization as to what transpired had sunk in. I turned and Mom was there with Dad behind her, the phone rang and Mom answered it, spoke for a few moments and hung up. She told me that it was Lindsey's mom and that she had found L's diary. We talked and I cried a lot and that was followed by moping around the rest of the weekend.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, has anyone told you the font size in Safari is set to "extra small"? It's just "small" in Firefox. And it's different fonts - Trebuchet versus Georgia - but the size thing is weird.

Second, don't you hate the words "training bra"? It implies the bra teaches your breasts something when it's only a way of covering them from view.


7:02 PM  
Anonymous Robert Taylor said...

"It's a training bra"
"What are you training it to do?"

An old joke from the CBC TV and radio series "Royal Canadian Air Farce"

12:35 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

M: Regarding fonts, what's your point?

I do hate the term training bra, but this is what my mother called my first bras, plus it made for a weak pun. Here is a more appropriate bra for training.

3:52 PM  
Anonymous Robert Taylor said...

5:20 AM  
Blogger shelley said...

I just came to read the comments on a poignant, well written post, but I had already increased the font size twice on my screen, because it is tinesy. I have to say, I enjoy the look of your blog with bigger font, too. The writing is what keeps us coming back - it deserves the weight. x

2:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Did you ever try to talk to her later on in life, like in College?

5:46 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

Shelly: comment taken under advisement.

Anon: Lyndsey, pretty much avoided me if our paths crossed after this. For reasons not related to this, when I left for college, I wanted to leave my growing up as a distant memory, so I never reached out to her.

While still in HS, I kept track of her and knew that she became pregnant before graduation and married the child's father.

For a bridal shower of my Paris roommate Elyse and Mike, the brother of my childhood best friend I traveled to my hometown. Elyse and I went into a C-store, where she was working the counter. She recognized me, as I would never have recognized her. Her life had taken its toll. Talking with old friends, I learned that she had 3 children by different men and was scratching out a meager existence. A fate far too common where I am from.


2:58 AM  
Anonymous VJ said...

Fate can indeed be very cruel especially if your youth is cut short in a manner not of your own choosing or desire. Thanks for the reminiscing, Cheers, 'VJ'

4:37 AM  

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