Today’s Writing 101 Prompt: Where did you live when you were 12 years old? Which town, city, and country? Was it a house or an apartment? A boarding school or foster home? An airstream or an RV? Who lived there with you?
When I was three and four years old we lived in house in a small town in southern New Mexico (United States). The house seemed huge to me, but I was small, so the house would now be considered small. There were several neighborhood children to play with but my best buddy was Rodney, and Rodney and I were both little three year old partners in crime.
I distinctly remember our neighbors across the street had a beautiful flower bed. What does three year olds do? They pick the flowers. The woman of the house caught me picking one of her flowers and demanded that I go straight home and tell my mother that I had picked her flower. She was an elder so I was obliged to mind her, so, I literally marched myself across the street to the back of our house, where the water heater was housed, and confessed my sin to the water heater. Then, I happily ran off to finish playing.
One beautiful summer day Rodney and I were outside playing and it was our good fortune to find a ladder standing up next to the side of the neighbor’s house. Because we were both little climbing monkeys, we climbed that ladder to the top of the house. Our mothers were outside and across the street visiting . They just happened to look up to catch sight of their 3 year old children walking all over the top of a neighbor’s roof.
I received a LOT of spankings when we lived in this house. Seems like every single night my mother would bark orders to my dad that I deserved a spanking. He would take his leather belt and slap it across my bare bottom three or four good whacks. Then he would go to the piano and play what I considered sad music.
Nevertheless, it didn’t change the fact that I continued to get whacked with a belt every single night. My mother said that she finally told my dad that they were going to have to stop beating me because it wasn’t doing any good.
I think my parents made the mistake of thinking that I had the same knowledge as they had in matters of right and wrong. They knew it was wrong to climb a ladder to the roof of the house at the age of three years old, therefore, I must know that too. I was only three years old! I had no experiences or knowledge imparted to me of the ways of the world and they were wrong in assuming that I did. I was a very curious and adventurous child and learned my lessons of right and wrong from the wrong end of a leather belt.