Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I used to be a kid

You'd never know it to look at me, but once upon a time I was a little girl.

It didn't last long. I was the oldest of four kids and was called upon to help my mom with housework a lot. I remember that at the age of seven, I was already doing dishes, helping with supper and scrubbing floors on my hands and knees.

By the age of eight, I was babysitting my younger siblings when my folks went into town for groceries. I already thought I was too old to play with dolls or go on the merry-go-round at the fair.

At the age of ten, my parents went to the Twin Cities for a weekend and left me to get my siblings off to school on Monday morning. As a result, I was late for school and my 6th grade teacher shamed me in front of the class. When I explained why I was late she said I was old enough to get up on time.

I'm sure my mom thought this was good training for my inevitable future as a housewife. And, my teacher probably thought this was a lesson in responsibility. But looking back, I feel like I was cheated out of much of my childhood. I grew up way too fast.

Is this what you would call old-age angst?


Daughter Number Three said...

That makes me sad and angry for the little Ms. Sparrow. Especially the teacher's actions, I have to say.

Olde Dame Penniwig said...

Here, my dear Sparrow, I will reach back into the past and start knocking some heads with my big wooden spoon. Shame shame on THEM! Take comfort in the fact that you are far above them.