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I Had Children When I Was Two

This post is the last of a series. If the catchy title brought you here today, please follow the link to this post and read forward

Mommy says Don’t play in the corn field, Andra. She says she can’t see me in there. She likes seeing me. Not being able to see me is bad. I don’t like to be bad for Mommy.

But I like to hide. To run with no shoes and dig my feet in the dirt and move in and out of the tall stalkies and lie down between the rows. It’s soft and scoopey. It feels like my bed. My crib bed. Not my big-girl bed. It hurts to roll off my big-girl bed. When I lie on my back in the scoopey dirt, I can see through the stalkies all the way to heaven. I think I came from heaven. I can just barely remember it if I try real hard.

I feel wet on my face. Rain, rain, go away. Come a-gain a-no-ther day. Little Andra wants to play. I know if I sing it loud enough, God will hear me and make it stop raining. That’s what I’ll do on my way out of the stalkies………Rain, rain……….hm hmmhmmm……..hm hm-hmmm hm-hmmm-hmmmm hmm……Mommy? Are you there? The stalkies are bigger than me and they go on-and-on-and-on-and-on-and……..MOMMYMOMMYMOMMYMOMMY! I’M LOST! I’m lost-and-dirty-and-wet-and-it’s muddy-and-I can’t see-anything-and-I’m tired-of-walking.

You don’t have to stay here, Andra. We can find the way out of the corn field.

Who ARE you? No little girls live around here. There’s only Robert across the road, but he’s a boy, and sometimes he’s mean. He taught me to pound my fork on the table and scream, “Where’s my supper?” but Mommy got mad when I did it for her.

I’m Ossie, and this is Palola.

Ooooooooh. You have funny names, too. I LIKE funny names. I have a funny name.

You named us.

I did not. 

Did to.

Did not.

Andra, you did. Don’t you remember? You dreamed up our names just now.

Huh? I’ve never-even-seen you before ever. You’re ugly with your pink hair, and Palola doesn’t even have any hair. You’re both uglies-uglies-uglies. Uglies and you talk funny. Like grown ups. Why do you talk like grown ups?

You decided all that. You made us. 

I DID NOT MAKE YOU! DID NOT DID NOT DID NOT!

Okay, your MIND made us. We’re imaginary.

You’re crazy is what you are! I’m telling my Mommy all about the crazy things you say!……..If I ever see my Mommy again. I think I’m going to be lost in the stalkies FOREVER AND EVER AND EVER.

We can find the way out of the corn field. I already told you that, Andra. Two years old, and already a drama queen.

Am not am not am NOT a drama queen!…………..What’s a drama queen?

It’s somebody with a hyperactive imagination who sometimes overreacts to things.

THAT’S NOT ME! TAKE IT BACK! IT SOUNDS BAD!

Andra, your imagination isn’t bad. It’s what you decide to do with it that can get you into trouble. But you made us. We’re your first creations, your first characters, your first children. By giving us a voice, you made us real.

So, I can make lots of you? As many of you as I want? For all time? Hm-hmmm-hmmmmm-hmm-hmmmm-hmm-hmm.

The rain stopped……there’s Mommy! I can’t wait to tell her that I’m going to make imaginary people real when I grow up. They will be the voices people need to hear, and I will give them life.

They will be my children.

All of them.

Every one.

24 Comments Post a comment
  1. Well, dang it all anyway, I was kinda thinking that I was real. This is really bad news for my psyche, but the good news is that the “Carnell” is not real either.
    Well, may as well go back to my cyber bed. sigh….

    September 25, 2011
    • Lou, don’t ruin it for everybody else. If you and Carnell aren’t real, then lots of folks are going to start their week very disappointed.

      Including me.

      September 25, 2011
  2. I for one and delighted that you brought your sense of creation from your earliest years forward with you to this time, this day, this year. Too many squelch those magical sparks from their early days. Being able to feel and hear and see the non-reality is the key to each person’s individual creativity.

    I just love the thought of lying down in the furrowed soil, feeling it cushion my spine while watching the swaying corn stalks. I bet the stalks make a wonderful papery, rustling sound as you lie there watching the clouds sail by. Homely (my childhood imaginary friend) and I will join you there.

    Now how do we get your Mom to bring us some lemonade, quilts, pillows, crayons and paper?

    September 25, 2011
    • Sometimes, I wish I could go back and lie in that corn field. You’d be welcome to join me. Any time.

      It has taken me a lot of my life to embrace my creativity in a meaningful way. It’s been a struggle that has been liberating.

      September 25, 2011
  3. This is really interesting to me, as well as being another compelling piece of writing. Because I have just been working with my daughter on a university research project which has found that mums need to let their kids go, to risk and dare: if they don’t the kid often just draws a conclusion that this is one more thing they are incapable of doing. The little Andra really didn’t believe she could get out by herself, but she did. And in the process she discovered her innermost strengths- at such an early age. Risking, daring, getting lost- they bring our imaginary characters closer somehow.

    September 25, 2011
    • Kate, that is so interesting! I agree just from an level of personal experience. Children who get to “roam” the fields and streets bring the joy of exploration and being able to set their direction into adult life. One of the great sadnesses I have for children in cities is their being indoors, unable to get out and roam. There is so much fear about what may happen to children that now we lock them down/in/away from the world. Not so as I grew up on the 1960s. I had full freedom to ride my bike, run, play and explore. We were prohibited from going beyond the sound of the cowbell my mother kept at the back door, and which she would ring to summon us home. But within the sound of that bell were creeks, woods, and much to explore.

      September 25, 2011
      • Of course, there is the mother who was internationally scandalized for letting her child ride the subway alone. She was trying to teach him how to get home safely if they got separated, and it turned into an international parenting incident.

        September 25, 2011
    • Kate, you got so much out of this piece that was embedded there. Thank you for making this comment. One of my biggest struggles before I ruled out having children was this very issue, how society today seems to have defined childhood so differently from what I remembered. It gives me hope that there are such studies, and brave parents like you who are willing to participate. Maddie is a lucky girl.

      September 25, 2011
  4. Masterful completion of your tale. It answers questions I had about you and, more importantly (paired with Kate’s comment), graphically explained something about myself that I never understood until right now. Thank you.

    September 25, 2011
    • Thanks Karen. When the reader sees him or herself in the writing, that is the ultimate accomplishment for me.

      September 25, 2011
  5. Andra….for what it is worth coming from me, you are a writer. A damn good writer. No matter whether business people can figure out a way to make money off of that or not, it won’t change that. What you do makes a difference, either way. But I have a hunch things are going to change when I see you putting yourself into it in the manner I’ve seen this week…

    September 25, 2011
    • I will do these periodically from now on here, because it has really stretched me. I also did not sleep because my brain was on fire. 🙂 thanks for reading and for being such a cheerleader for me.

      September 25, 2011
      • I was wondering how in the world you could maintain that daily. It is palpable.

        (Here comes the obligatory weird part from me) As you learn the power you posses, it isn’t everyone who can wield it wisely, not letting the tail/tale wag the dog…

        I hope to remain around as long as you will tolerate me, honestly calling it as I see it. This story is very compelling… 🙂

        September 25, 2011
      • I tolerate everybody, Brett. I hope I get to meet you and Lisa someday. Surely we will find ourselves at the same function eventually……..

        September 25, 2011
      • Oh yeah, forgive me…thanks for doing the same…

        September 25, 2011
  6. Melinda was my first and only imaginary friend. There are many layers and reasons to why I created her and what she meant to me. The first article I ever published was about her… and the moment I realized she was born of my own imagination. What’s amazing to me is your ability to create so many colorful characters in your mind. Having had the opportunity to read your novel… I felt like I knew those characters and grew to care about them. I can’t wait to meet many more of your “children”.

    September 25, 2011
    • I still recall your adamant proclamations of your love of Helen. 🙂 I love her, too. I hope she, and the rest of the crazy crew, see the light if day.

      Imaginary friends make a life-long impact. I still commune with mine, in a way.

      September 25, 2011
  7. Erin Roscoe #

    I absolutely love this piece! Maybe it is my age, but I have been excessively reminiscent of late…Trying to capture that power and endlessness that was part of being Erin, the child…The part of me that life has tried to beat out. Without boring you with long rabbit trails, suffice it to say that I have come to respect the strength and resilience of that little girl that I was so long ago, and hope to be able to be once more…Thank you for sharing part of yourself. There is such power when we do!

    September 25, 2011
    • I think we get to the place where we want to be more child-like. We remember what it was like to take risks and not care, oblivious to the potential consequences. It is hard to live that way as an adult. Good luck in your connections with the child Erin. I only recall that she was wonderful. 🙂 xo

      September 25, 2011
  8. September 25, 2011
    • I have to talk to you about something. Will do a G+ lunch up request.

      September 25, 2011
  9. Late to the show this time (too much racing Sunday 🙂 )… but dang it if you didn’t do it again. You keep dredging up feelings I didn’t know where there.

    +++writing!

    September 26, 2011
    • Thanks, Bill. I hope you won your races. 🙂

      September 26, 2011
      • No. Someone got a little over ambitious on the third lap of thirty eight and ran into me entering the final turn and knocked the rear axle out of alignment. Car didn’t handle so well after that. Still managed to finish fifth and had fun doing it, so I count it as a successful day at the races. 🙂

        September 26, 2011

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