|Daddy and me in the 18-foot Airstream trailer.|
We lived in an awesome 18-foot Airstream trailer when I was not old enough to remember. It had a lean-to on the side, which served as the living room. I’ve no idea where my mom and dad and I slept. Probably on something that folded out at night and up during the day. If you’ve ever seen one of those rounded silver 1949-50 model travel trailers that’s what I’m talking about. It was not big on space but gigantic in holding love.
From the get-go I was one of those kids that was into everything. I had to explore mom’s bright red lipstick (for some reason the color seemed to indicate to me that it would taste good and after all Momma put it on her lips), Daddy’s Old Spice cologne (it smelled better than it tasted, same with Vanilla flavoring), and the white cotton candy-looking balls I found under the sink. After all, Mom and Dad probably hid them there so I wouldn’t find them and eat them all. They used to hide all the good stuff.
So I tried them. I ate the whole box. When Momma came in, she looked as white as one of the round things I’d just eaten. They really didn’t taste too good either but then I’d eaten them pretty fast, you know, so she wouldn’t catch me.
She grabbed me up and ran to the next-door neighbor shouting about what should she do since I’d eaten all the ball thingies. The neighbor said she better call the ambulance and so she did and away we went with siren screaming to the hospital. I wasn’t feeling good at all by the time Daddy got there from work, breathless, smelling of sweat and hard labor.
They pumped my stomach after Momma told them I’d eaten the whole box. I mean really, cotton candy shouldn’t cause that much commotion. Then I heard the words “poison” and “you were lucky” and “moth balls”.
I don’t know that I can really remember all this. But I sure remember Momma and Daddy’s rendition. Who knows what part of it is true? The only constant in all of the stories I’ve heard is that I ate the whole box of mothballs and had to be taken to the hospital to have my stomach pumped. And that Momma and Daddy were really glad Momma saw me do it.
She probably saw me do it because the trailer was like the size of a large bathroom by todays standard. I was always under her feet. Those things I know are true as well.
Is there a common denominator for red lipstick, Old Spice cologne, Vanilla and mothballs? Sure, they all went into my 18-month old mouth. And, I thought they would taste good. But not a one of them did. As a matter of fact, one of them was poison and would have killed me had my Momma not intervened. All that said, I probably should have learned at an early age that all that smells good, looks good and seems good, is not good for my body. By the age of 18 months I knew it, but I know it didn’t sink in until now. I won’t tell you my age but let’s just say I’ve long ago passed the age when I should know better.
Well, anyway, the trailer wasn’t big on space but gigantic on holding love. I think both the space and the love is what got me through to being 19 months old.