Man, my dad near tried to KILL me and my little sister when we were little. My dad basically treated us like boys so whenever we did anything physically challenging, he never took a minute to ask us if we were ok... Being the daughters of a physically fit fireman didn't help. It was around the time that my little sister had just gotten her training wheels off. The three of us took a little bicycle ride in the neighborhood to bond or something. So we're riding and riding. It was a fun, little, pleasant ride down the paved, suburban sidewalk. Ya know? Perfect for sheltered, little girls with bows and barrettes in their hair. So, soon we come to the end of the neighborhood that leads out onto highway 202. And you think that this is normally where a father with two small children would turn around. But noooooooooo. For some insane reason, this man kept going! Mind you, my sister and I didn't really ride in the street as it was, so riding past that "Ramblewood" sign at the end of the community was quite a new and shocking experience. As big as the lumps were in our throats, we definitely had no energy to yell, "Daddy, I'm Scared!" So we're in this little, single-file line with my dad in front, me in the middle and my poor, little, young sister bringing up the rear with cars whizzing past us. Did I mention that we're riding down the highway ya'll!!! Me and my sister's little hearts are beating so fast that they were nearly popping out our chests; and the man doesn't even look back! But it gets worse! Somehow, we end up crossing he freakin highway and riding down the most narrow, back road that ever existed in Prince George's County. People take this road a lot though because it's a short cut. So to say that there were a lot of cars out that day was an understatement. (Or maybe it just felt that way because I thought I was going to die!) You have NO IDEA how frightened and speechless me and my sister were at that point. Cars were nearly missing us on this near TRAILWAY, and again my dad never looked back!!!! How could your youngest JUST get her training wheels taken off and YOU aren't concerned?! I mean, COME ON!!! I don't know how my sister and I got through that, but I must reiterate that that was the most terrifying experience in my LIFE! Come on now dad!!! For the umpteenth time, We're Not Boys!!! I don't know where my dad's head was that day. Lol. Oh, he was so oblivious! Lol. Why did he just tell us last week that he had no idea we felt like that?!! Lol. I love my father!
I wasn't allowed to watch "In Living Color", "The Simpsons", "Martin", rated-R movies (which all turned out to be our current classics such as Boyz In the Hood, Jungle Fever, Poetic Justice, House Party, etc.), and many other "inappropriate" shows. I wasn't until much later that I understood why, but as a child, it was the worse thing that my parents could have done to me. Do you know how hard it is going to school and listening to everyone talk about last night's hilarious episode and have NO IDEA what they were talking about!?? No wonder all the kids thought I was slow! Oh man, it sucked. Well I didn't like that feeling, so sneaking to watch through the crack of my parents bedroom door was the next option right?! Wrong!!! Getting yelled at by dad, or getting that mean eye from mom (ya'll know what I'm talking about - the look that just cuts you to your heart) was definitely NOT worth it. Needless to say, I just kindly disappeared when kids started to talk about tv shows and movies. I guess I just learned how to deal with the hand I was dealt... =/
Since my sister is dark-skinned and I'm light, my mother had to sit us down at a very young age to erase or prevent any stigmatisms that we may have towards race, towards each other, and basically to teach us about what the world thinks of our skin colors. After she shocked the mess out of my sister by explaining to her the whole ordeal around why people will not see her as beautiful due to her dark skin, my mother proceeds to shock the mess out of me and tell me that I'm just going to be seen as light-skinned and dumb. "Yep, you're the stupid one," she said. Geez mother! Can we please be 6 and 10 years old before you say something like that to my sister and I?! Dag!! In retrospect, I'm so grateful that we discussed skin issues in my house. That discussion and the many ones after that protected us from a lot of the crap that the world has to offer. My sister developed a beautiful confidence and presence that transcended her age, and I vowed to never be stupid and studied my butt off to eventually attend and Ivy League university. Thank you mother.
My mother really did think I was slow as a little girl. Maybe I was. I don't know. Could it have been all the sheltering that she and my father did? (Actually, I wouldn't change any of that for the world. It definitely made me who I am today.) But in any case, check this out. My mother...that great mother of mine...swore UP AND DOWN that I had no inference skills! (inference: the act of reasoning from factual knowledge or evidence.) I know I did some dumb things but come on. I wasn’t that slow. But look at this though. Why did the woman go to the bookstore and come home with workbooks on inference! Workbooks ya'll. Like for real, children’s, exercise workbooks! Oh my goodness!!! I was so offended!!! So offended in fact that I refused to do them. THE NERVE!!! Again, can I please be a teenager before you attack my intelligence!!! lol. She really wanted the best for me though, and that’s why I will love her forever.
Ah man. Memories... I love my family. =)