Oct 05 2006

Storytime: Growing Up

Published by at 4:21 pm under amy's head,daily

I was born in Mountain View, CA, but my family moved when I was about 6 weeks old to Loveland, Colorado where we lived until I was eight years old. My dad was then transfered to Washington state, so we moved to the nice town of Marysville, Washington. We moved to a 5 bedroom house with a basement I can’t clearly remember (was it finished? did i rollerskate on the concrete down there? Or was that in Colorado?), a “pickleball” court (how this is at all different from a tennis court I can’t tell you), a pool, and a beautiful woods with a stream beyond our back fence. With 6 children, it was a small house, but offered so much (hello! did you hear me say pool?!) that my parents took it. My younger sister Susan and I doubled up, and my brothers James and Joe did also. The two eldest siblings got their own room, Larry and Ellen. When Ellen went off to college, Susan and I moved up to her room, and our old room became my Dad’s office.

I remember when we first arrived at the house. Hewlett Packard was moving us, so we stayed in the Everett Pacific Hotel until the moving van arrived, which I remember as taking forever, for some reason. We kids had not seen the house, so my folks took us to at least go see the house (we didn’t have the key yet). We were wandering all over the yard, and I was fascinated by the pool. It was uncovered, and I remember dipping my toes to feel the temperature, and then without warning, I was in the pool, water up to my chest. Fully clothed. I have no idea what happened, but my mother is still convinced that I did it on purpose. Because everyone I know LOVES TO PAD AROUND IN SOGGY CLOTHES AND SHOES. FOR AN HOUR. I think the story that I did it on purpose was solidified because in the summertime, I lived in the pool and became quite the brown little fish-girl.

I was super lucky that next door housed a girl my age, and Heidi and I became best friends. We were inseparable, and played together all the time. I wish I could remember the elaborate stories our active imaginations conjured up, because they were something. Strawberry shortcake, Barbie, playing in the woods, playing in the pool, climbing into and eating ourselves sick in Heidi’s cherry tree were all pleasant ways we passed the time.

When I was twelve, we moved again, though this time I’m not exactly sure of the reason. The new house was much bigger, and had a good bit of land. My mom would have room for a proper music studio, and my dad had not only an office, but a dark room for his photography. My younger sister and I would FINALLY get our own rooms, so we were excited for the move, plus it wasn’t far. We moved to Snohomish (sno-HOME-ish) Washington, about 25 minutes away, where I remember being very distraught over having to go “BACK” to elementary school, whereas in Marysville, 6th graders were in middle school. I was ever so slighted to not have a locker and only having 1 teacher, 1 classroom, etc.

Heidi and I still stayed in contact, but we didn’t see each other often. I remember one time that first year, she invited me to sleep over, and I was so excited. Oh the games we would play! Oh the fun we would have! I arrived, all set to play, but all Heidi wanted to do was put on makeup, paint finger- and toenails, and gab about boys. I was so disappointed- no, not even disappointed, more like SHOCKED, and for the first time, I realized that I wasn’t a little girl anymore. I hadn’t really understood any of the girls in my new school, and it was because even though they were “still” in elementary school, they had crossed that bridge from girlhood to teenager-hood, whereas I still did not care about boys, still played with my Barbie dolls, and loved a good romp through the woods in search of unicorns. Hell, I still want to go romping through the woods looking for unicorns.

I think it wasn’t for a year or two that I actually felt like I wasn’t a little girl anymore, and I always felt like I had to “act” around other girls. I remember just sort of wandering through the motions at this point in my young life. I don’t know if that is normal for that age, or if it was just me, but I readily adopted gestures, speech patterns, sayings, etc. of my friends around me, because I really wasn’t sure who I was, or how to behave, what to do, what I liked, what I was ALLOWED to like, or would be deemed too babyish. This teenager gig was tough. It was a complete mystery to me that one day, these girls just decided they weren’t going to “play” anymore, when the truth was, it was probably a gradual process for them. It just wasn’t for me. It wasn’t until I went to a summer campish event, BYU’s Theatre Workshop (where I met the lovely Linda for the first time) that I actually felt like I came alive, and started LIVING, started BEING myself, instead of just wandering around, just being.

But that is a post for another day.

-amy peeks in the closet for any hiding pegasus-unicorns

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