It's been 10 years since my parents sold their house and moved further down the shore to live in a retirement village, or what my kids fondly refer to as "Camp Mama and Papa," but they each have their own very special memories about the house on 10 Union Street and enjoy sharing stories that usually begin with, "Remember that time at Mama's and Papa's old house?" and end with my youngest not having a clue about what they are talking about.
"You were just too little to remember."
It's tough being the youngest, sometimes. Okay, mostly every day, especially if you ask our youngest. She was only 3 years-old when my parents moved and, unlike her 3 siblings, she hadn't "learned how to swim in Mama and Papa's pool" or "ride a scooter down their street" and finding little reminders around our own house isn't helping any.
Hope was helping me clean the house, the other day (someone was probably coming over for dinner) and she came across a set of plates, tucked way into a corner and hanging next to the bookcase.
"Yes, and I forgot they were even there."
They're a set of wooden nesting plates my parents brought back from one of their trips to Hungary, and they used to hang along the stairs in their entryway of their "old house", like this:
We would use them to measure how tall the kids were growing, judging by the size of plate they could actually reach and pull off of the nail. But I'm not sure (i.e. that brain cell burned off long ago and I just can't remember) if anyone was big enough to reach the largest plate.
So, I asked Glen and Holly....because Heather was at work and, well, we already know that two out of three ain't bad....according to Meatloaf, anyway....and if you don't know who Meatloaf is....look it up, youngster.
[sticks out tongue, blows bangs out of eyes]
Sooooooo, according to Glen -- who has all sorts of random facts stored in his brain, he gets it from his father -- nope, no one could reach or has ever been able to pull the largest plate from its nail.
"Oh, really? Watch this!"
Until now, because being the youngest (and smallest) can make a kid feel way more competitive than her siblings EVER were, daaaaaaaaangit. Also, this happens to be the same kid who sent out her own birthday invitations....
"Hi, I'm R.S.V.P.-ing for Hope's birthday party."
....without bothering to mention it to me, her father OR anyone else.
"Oh, I see...and I should have known...it was written in crayon...."
Along with a note scribbled at the bottom, saying:
"Der wilbe food cak fwom da stor and yuky tee"
No, I don't have the invitation. Did I mention, she's the 4th in line? Of everything?
[kicks half-finished baby book under desk]
Yeah. I know. I suck. Soooooo, let it be known that:
Hope is the only kid tall enough to reach AND pull the largest plate from its nail....HUZZAH!!!
[sound of crickets chirping]
We moved the growth plates to a more prominent and very visible area, you know, as a reminder. In case she forgets. Not to mention, one of the plates happens to cover up a rip in the wallpaper....very nicely....guess which one?!?
"OH WAIT!!! I remember something!!!"
[eyes go wide]
"I remember going with you to take Papa to look for a new house..."
Yes, yes she did!
"Then tripping on the sidewalk, falling down and ripping my knee open!"
Yup, she gets it from her mother.
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