We used to have swim meets, track meets, play hockey in the underground parking garage, soccer in the courtyard, basketball against the lightpost, build bridges to cross the creek, play on the tarzan swing, pool hop, run from security, Nicky Nicky Nine Doors, shoplift from the conveinence store...light fires, steal smokes...ummm I know you are intrigued but I will stop here. (#goodtimes in a nutshell before the age of 13 in the area that I grew up in-)
"Christine's tough she can play in net"...I'd nod my head yes, stand in the net- they would tell me "You're too young to play!" but I'd stand there anyway and they would once again agree and let me do so under the condition that if I ever got hit in the face- I wouldn't cry (good deal!)
I remember the first day I got hit in the face with a soccer ball but on second thought it probably wasn't the first day...to this day my legs are covered in scars and scratches.
I still have indents in the back of my leg from the time I was trying to stunt down a huge gravel hill on my BMX when I was about 8 and braked too hard (darn).
I remember people getting into fights and myself in particular getting into "fist fights" (remember those?)- I always hung around the older boys so it was a good deal - they'd encourage me to fight the other boys my age (even though I was not one) but let me know if at anytime if it even looked like I was getting beat up they would bring a stop to things PROMPTLY.
I remember this one time I was fighting this kid and I don't know how it got broken up but it did- it ended with him running upstairs to get a parent or something.
I remember when he came back down stairs he stood at the top of the steps that overlooked the little courtyard we were playing ball in and he held a broken hockey stick.
He was red (his face) you could tell he'd been crying and he stood at the top of the stairs looked down at me and in a very broken and cracking voice he yelled "I have a N&^%#rR Beater and I'm gonna beat you with it."
I heard the word before but this was the first time I was called it (as per my previous post)- was never too impressed by it and it held no power in my life so I wasn't moved-
My mom had previously told me that it meant ignorant and she taught me that I was not ignorant there for this term did not and would never apply to me- I was OK with this.
So when the kid did that while we were outside playing, I kind of shrugged it off. But the other boys turned from the soccer match, looked at me and asked if I had heard what he just said to me.
I said, "I did" but didn't care- I wasn't one!
My dad told me that none of the people I ever met were- so you could understand the passivity here as one of the interesting dynamics. The other interesting thing was all the boys that I was hanging out with were white and this always stands out in my mind.
I remember telling them I didn't care- I remember one of them telling me it didn't matter if I didn't care I could never let anybody call me that.
So I darted up the stairs straight towards him got to the top and I looked him in the face and asked him, "what's in your hand?"
He said it again...
I told him he was wrong it was just a broken hockey stick! (with very sharp and pointy edge I might add it made me nervous)
I kind of looked down to see where the big guys were at this point and they were standing in the middle of the stairs that I had just ran up...the kid corrected me and told me what it was again and he went to take a swing and I remember one of the guys saying "don't you dare hit her" and I grabbed it from him and I swung-
I remember holding it in my hand and being almost mad as the fury of hell or at least the 8 year old equivalent- but wasn't really sure why and I asked him a question after I hit him twice with it..."So what is it now?"
The kid ran upstairs to his apartment- I remember one of the guys telling me I was strong and then me asking if we could back down into the courtyard to finish playing soccer...they agreed and not too long after my Mom called me from off the balcony so I went upstairs to get some lunch.
When I came back down- everyone was still out there and they were like "Ohhhhhhh Christine, ______'s Dad is looking for you- he said when he found you he was gonna kick your black and white a** all across the parking lot!"
Heavy right? (I was 7 or 8 at this time I want to say the summer before I started grade 2 but am not 100% sure) And often, often, often around where I grew up parents got into it with kids and vice verse (kind of crazy looking back).
They told me he was walking around the building looking for me and he was M-A-D.
Another thing my mom told me was if any one's mom or dad was looking for me I was to come home first...so that's what I did...I went upstairs and told my mom the story.
I remember her calling his mom and telling her the story and his mom getting bent out of shape because I had no right hitting her kid with a hockey stick...and my dad coming over and giving me the "N" word talk and the verbal permission to if they weren't bigger than me beat the snot out of anyone that used the term against me.
For the record it never got that out of hand again.
I was a smart kid.
We desire to bequest two things to our children -- the first one is roots; the other one is wings.