Sunday, June 5, 2011
A Place for Youthful Memories
I didn't know days spent with my cousin Sandra would be of the endless type where molecules of moments are tinged with the golden glow of summer's promise of hoped for maturity before the cooling of evenings bring the reminder of a new school year. A late in life child spoiled as only they can be, Sandra wore about herself casual confidence born of expected attention. To be in her company was to be in a special place unknown to me. Sandra was popular.
Mornings beginning at our own choosing, biscuits with honey on Miss America Hobnail, North Carolina greetings from Aunt Mildred as musical notes to my ears. Swim Team practice go along, a new bathing suit in my Tourister luggage, an afternoon with Sandra.
Long legs as red brown as the earth, swimsuit blue as the sky, white cap held for only a moment above the edge of the pool before disappearing longer than I could hold my breath. Colorful triangles glimpsed in the final moments, wall tap cheers for her First Place finish. Time for me before joining her friends.
Push off back flips underneath the lip of the pool, water ballet movements practiced again and again, called out encouragement to let me know I hadn't been forgotten. Peeks over my shoulder at the boys and girls around Sandra hoping for the same kind smile.
Evenings of fire flies and front porch lounging, games of cards on chenille smoothed flat with our palms, late night giggles and admonishments to hush from the next room, a place in the heart for youthful memories to take hold in a shy young girl.
I would begin Ninth Grade red brown as the earth of North Carolina and eyes as blue as a summer sky. I would wear about myself confidence of the new kind, ready to meet new friends who would become the Bobwhites. I would be ready for spend the nights and boy crushes, trendy styles, and new adventures. I would write to Sandra a last time thanking her for letting me stay at the edges of her popularity where I was more comfortable and making sure I felt loved and special our times alone.
Labels: Cape Cod