My childhood was bearable. Very bearable. In fact, I consider it a happy childhood. Always a roof over my head, food on the table, and plenty of love and hugs. We were by no means wealthy, but I was unaware of that. My wealth was in comfort and love, babydolls and playing house.
I had 3 parents; my mother, my father and my sister Catha.... who was 19 months older than me. She is in almost every childhood memory I can recall. We always shared a bedroom and most times a bed. We shared clothes and toys and sometimes friends and always secrets.
To say we were quite the opposite is not really describing us exactly but it's a good start. I was talkative, she only talked when necessary. I liked to take risk, she stood back and warned me not to. I talked back, she stayed quiet. I bossed her around, she submitted. She was a picky eater, I was not. She was the perfect child, I could imitate her. She had dark, thick hair, I had lighter, thin hair. I had blue eyes, she had brown. She wanted to take piano lessons, I had to take them also...with no desire whatsoever. I was extroverted, she was more introverted. In our preteens, she developed a chest......I am still waiting.
We played school, restaurant, mamas and babies, house........we dug for mud to make mud pies, swang on the rusty, old swingset, walked up and down the neighborhood streets and shared clothes. We would talk in bed until one of us fell asleep each night. Catha was always there.
I hesitate to point this out, but we may have been a little nerdy. I was probably in 3rd grade and Catha in 5th grade and still playing with baby dolls. This was my favorite doll of all times and check out that awesome stroller. Catha got an infant seat. Santa was so good that year!
Cigarettes (white crayons) and jewelry.
Catha was there adding to the joy and comfort of my childhood.
But there were 3 times she is the one who made it bearable.
The first time was the move my family made from Midland, Texas, to Bryan/College Station, Texas, in 1964. It was the Christmas break of my first grade year. A new town, a new house, a new school wasn't so scary because I still shared a bedroom with Catha. Bearable.
The second time was the move my family made from Bryan, Texas, to Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. I was in 9th grade when my father took a new job and Catha joined me in hollering and crying out to our father that he was "ruining our life!" She was a junior in highschool and we were both devasted that we were being torn from our school and friends. When we arrived in Mississippi, I had one friend. Catha. She made it bearable.
The third time was when my parents moved again my senior year....this time to Houston. I screamed, hollered and begged to stay until graduation and they relented. The day after highschool graduation I joined my parents and Catha in Houston, Texas. I had one friend. Catha.