I am from the asphalt in my knees when I fell off my bike and also from rice krispie treats and Hawaiian punch at Bible school. I am from 2 cent milk and 3 cent cookies in kindergarten, macaroni paper plate and hand print turkey art as well as from tempera paint. I am from Sesame Street and Mr Rogers. I am from my elementary school classrooms with art, maps, and explorers’ routes to the new world. I am from the teacher’s tobacco stained teeth and bad breath. I am from lined papers and penmanship. I am from notebook binders, as well as vinegar smelling developer fluid. I am from #2 pencils and circles to color in. I am from dodgeball, kickball, Simon says, and tetherball.
I am from my father’s strong shoulders when he carried me on them. I am from my mother’s hands washing my hair. I am from baby shampoo and ivory soap. I am from my sister and brother and our splash fights in the bathtub and pillow fights on our beds. I am from the countless cats we called our own and from the doghouse abandoned when she was given away.
I am from an ancient house which was cold in winter and hot in summer and from frozen hands after the snowball fights and from sticky faces after popsicles. I am from hundreds or possibly thousands of watermelon slices and the seeds I spit as far as I could. I am from the bells of the ice cream truck and the mad dash to it. I am from countless games of monopoly and crazy eights. I am from huge ants which popped out from between the patio slabs. I am from a huge, old swimming pool and Marco Polo.
I am from a dozen Christmas trees and the cheesy tinsel and from warm fires. I am from cookies on baking sheets in the oven and the hard-to-see-through oven window, long splashed with grease. I am from the mothballs in my mother’s closet. I am from the orphan socks out of the dryer. I am from the burnt part of a marshmallow which I ate first and from the cotton candy at the midway and the junior mints my first date bought me. I am from my first crush and countless break-ups. I am from popcorn and Dots at the movies.
I am from Broadway Shows and dinners at Chinese restaurants in New York. I am from Barnum and Bailey Circus and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I am from rock concerts at large arenas. I am from cigarettes, joints, beer, Boone Farms strawberry wine, and stolen liquor out of my parents’ cabinet.
I am from tears and laughter.