I remember when I was seven years old – the day I turned seven. We, my sister and I, were staying at the Hans Brinker Inn in the Netherlands as our parents enjoyed two weeks in Paris.
I was furious with my parents for having abandoned us for those two weeks. At Hans Brinker every meal consisted of toast – toast with sugar and cinnamon for breakfast, toast with cheese or tomato for lunch, for dinner – I do not recall.
But that day, the day of my seventh birthday, we were eating our lunch of toast, and our parents came to pick us up. My sister, who was only four at the time, ran up to our parents. I, on the other hand, held them responsible. I was incensed.
The owner had pushed me down the stairs. They separated me and my sister into different rooms. She didn’t understand. Her roommates didn’t speak English. I was punished for going to her when she cried. I begged for them to put us in the same room.
So, I ignored my parents. Seething, I kept my back to them. They thought I didn’t want to leave.
Saturday I wrote this memory exercise (prompt = “I remember”) at Judy Reeves‘ Speak Memory workshop at the Southern California Writers’ Conference LA14 (Irvine). Thank you, Judy and all the other great workshop leaders, speakers, and conference organizers.