“Young people don’t always do what they’re told, but if they can pull it off and do something wonderful, sometimes they escape punishment. ”
― Rick Riordan
All of us have stories from our childhoods; stories that contributed to the development of our characters or were simply an expression of that character as it developed. One of my most memorable stories involves a chair without a back. It began with an ordindary dinner at the kitchen table and ended with a permanent memento of my desire to explore life from all angles.
I don’t recall what led me to stick my head through the horizontal rungs of my kitchen chair. I don’t know if I was simply trying to see what was on the other side, or if I was simply bored. Neither can I remember actually sticking my head through the slats. However, I can clearly remember not being able to remove it. Unable to free myself, I began to wiggle and scream. It wasn’t long before my dad came to the rescue. I CAN clearly remember the sound of the saw as it ate through the wooden slats just inches away from my neck. That chair remained my personal “seat of honor” at the family dinner table, a testimony to the follies of childhood.
An assortment adventures which run from a series of bee stings from constantly running barefoot in the clover, to a wasp sting from spitting at a wasp nest, to getting bit on the nose by a snapping turtle that I tried to rub noses are topped of with being chased by an entire herd of dairy cows one Christmas season. An experience that left one shoe in the quicksand, and a slamming door flapping behind me while I cowered under my bed. I am not certain whether these misadventures shaped me or were fashioned by me as a result of my insatiable curiosity, inability to follow rules and sheer stubbornness. Regardless, they are part of who I am today.
I would love to hear from you about the stories that have shaped your life, or which are an expression of who you are. Feel free to add to this discussion and let’s get to know each other.
― John Connolly, “The Book of Lost Things”