12 April 2017
When I was about nine or ten years old I was with a babysitter that I’d stopped going to only a year or so before. She was older, easily could have been my own grandmother. I certainly saw her as a family member, after being under her care for the first almost decade of my life. Now I wasn’t with her to be watched, I was staying the night at her house. We had to go to the store, I don’t recall what for but what I do recall is her buying me a long, very soft, robe and a rounded neck pillow that looks like a dog. At the time, I had no idea that it was a neck pillow, I just saw it as a stuffed toy. The rest of the night is vague to recall, I remember some of my other friends who still were under her care while their parents worked but that is about it. The small dog pillow would soon become more important to me than I would have thought as I fell asleep with it that night. And it all started with my many years spent at my wonderful babysitter’s house.
My mind can’t help but remember every winter, spring, summer, fall, year after year of continuous fun. I hardly remember an afternoon I wasn’t at this house running around with my friends. Her name was Margie Ann, but I, and I can only assume, none of the other kids, knew her as anything but Mamaw. I found out a couple of years later that that means grandma or grandmother, which is basically what she was to us. My friends Nick and Matt (who are brothers), and Tanner and I would happily fill our days with anything in the house. I remember occasionally a pair of siblings, who I can only remember were blond, would come for Mamaw to watch. Sometimes it was a woman who was related to Mamaw who would come over on holidays with her son and her two dogs. Her son never seemed to enjoy playing with us much though and would keep to himself either near his mom or with a game of his own he would bring. One of the dogs was very friendly and the other we never went near because of warnings that she would bite if we touched her head or got too close. Later Mamaw’s Daughter moved in with her. We called her Juju, though I’d heard Mamaw call her Julia. Then there were times when Mamaw’s grandson, who’s name I can’t remember, slept over for reasons I to this day have no knowledge of, and would hang out with us little kids. Sometimes he would play with us with toys and things from a hallways closet that had doors that folded open and closed.
Two-We never had a shortage of things to entertain us. There was a hall closet filled with toys that I found out were Mamaw’s real grandson’s There were bins and benches on the white painted porch where we would sit during the summer and dig until we found something that caught our attention for only minutes until we would pass it off to find another tiny trinket. Once we got bored of that we would run barefoot through the soft green grass in the small fenced backyard and to the small sand box that was there. We would...