Day 3 —Write about the worst time you’ve ever put your foot in your mouth.
It was the summer of ’92 and I was four years old. I had a knack for sitting on my mother’s lap and sucking the honeydew out of those weird flowers that grew on the side of the road. I liked to see the earth for all the colors it was and I liked to smell everything. Daddy long-legs scared me to tears and the moon fascinated me. I sat in my mom’s lap and sang songs in my baby talk while sucking on my pacifier. I was peaceful.
We were visiting neighbors and these were the neighbors that I grew up to dislike. The daughters were stuck up and the parent’s were snobby. They didn’t like us because we were poor. They made fun of us and I cried a lot. But at that time we had hopes for the American dream, the white picket fence, the picture perfect neighborhood. We lived in a land of make-believe; of ‘we’re going to get out of here soon and this is only temporary.’
I sat, and listened, and played with the grass, in my mom’s lap, listening to the conversation between my mother and our neighbor. She was a short lady of about 35 with a protruding belly and constant flush to her skin. Suddenly, an idea popped into my head while looking at our neighbor as she spoke. I just learned where babies came from, at least I thought I had. Babies came from the belly, clearly! Staring at her protruding belly “Mommy, when is Ms. Nancy going to have her baby?”
Our funny-faced neighbor sat open-mouth, aghast at the nerve of this little 4-year-old with the innocent face and childhood lisp. My mom stifled her laughter and told me we’d talk about it later. I shrugged and went back to humming and singing to myself, plucking grass from the lawn, completely and beautifully ignorant of the fact that anything was out of the ordinary.