Childhoodmemories often leave a mark in one’s life. We always treasure andoccasionally remember them. In as much as we would like to rememberthe pleasant ones, we are helpless in trying to erase the badmemories (Leman56).They are equally vivid. As little children, my brother Nigel and Iwere always playful and rebellious at times. Being the older one, theresponsibility of taking care of Nigel was placed on my shoulders.When I was twelve years old, Nigel was ten. Mom decided we were oldenough to be left by ourselves in the house as she left for work. Sheset tough rules of what was not to be done in the house and theconsequences for failure to adhere were stipulated. Themost crucial rule was that we were not supposed to light up thecooker. “Never play with the fire,” she always said.
Mom’shouse rules were so strict that even when she was not around, we felther presence.Her words always echoed in my mind, and just a thought of breakingone of the sacred rules made me shiver. Staying indoors suffocatedour freedom. Not even watching movies could raise our spirits. Therewas no way we would survive staying in the house without breaking atleast one or more rules. The best alternative that we resulted to wasplaying in our compound. Nigel embraced the idea though he had nochoice over what I said. If we thought that by playing outside therewere no rules, we were dead wrong. There were rules that governed ourplay outside. We were to keep the house locked lest an intruder or athief entered. No children were allowed in our compound when mom wasaway, not even our closest friends, and the pond a few meters fromour house was off limit. We were warned countless times not to playnear or get into the pond.
Oneweekend we broke one of the rules.Mom left for work and as usual, Nigel and I were left to operate thehouse. The weather was warm and bright. Rays of sunshine piercedthrough the windows and lit the living room. There was no way I wouldlet the day fade away without enjoying myself I said to myself.Hurriedly I made Nigel take his breakfast, and as soon as we weredone, we took our kites and left the house. The thought of beingpunished made me remember to close the door.
Oncewe were outside, we started playing the game.we took our positions and let our kites free to see whose kite rosehighest. Occasionally our kites would be tangled, and we had to pullthem down to free them. We enjoyed the warmth of the morning sun asour kites danced in the air. Sometimes I held my kite back to letNigel’s kite fly higher, and when his was higher, he would laughand brag that he was better than I was. I knew I was good at it, butI wanted just to see him happy and smiling. That is what big brothersdo, right? Time was moving fast, and we did not notice that it wasalready lunchtime. The wind was getting stronger, and our kites werebeing brown towards the pond. We realized we were at the edge of thepond when it was too late. The cool breeze hit our hot faces much toour pleasure. “Let’s have a swim Nigel,” I said. He wasreluctant at first but with a little persuasion, I was able toconvince him. A swim would cool our bodies from the scorching sun.
Wethrew ourselves into the pond, and the thought of been punished coulddeter us from swimming.It has never felt that good. We swam for as long as our emptystomachs could allow us, which were not for long, and then we went tohave lunch. After eating, we decided it was best we stay in the houseso that mom would not find out that we were at the pool. We startedto watch a movie to pass the time. Mom arrived home a few minutesafter five o’clock looking all tired, so I offered to give her handwith the bag of groceries she held. She almost dropped the grocerybag when she saw me. I wondered why. ”She must be very tired,” Iconcluded. She let me take the bag without uttering a word and thenwalked to the living room and sat next to Nigel.
Isensed that all was not well but could not figure out.After taking the groceries to the kitchen, I went back to the livingroom oblivious of what awaited me. “Nigel, did you go to the pond?”mom asked. How did she know? Who could have told her? Nigel repliedto the negative, and the same question was directed to me.Stammering, I said no faintly. Her face turned pale and asked us totell the truth or face her wrath. Nigel said that I had convinced himto swim and it was against his wish. She did not let him finishtalking before she rained on me with some hard slaps and pinches. Itried to plead for forgiveness, but she could hear none of it. Shegave me a thorough beating. That night I was not allowed to havedinner. She told me that the next time we decide to swim we shouldat least take a shower afterward and apply some lotion to our bodies.Our dry skins betrayed us!
Leman,Kevin. WhatYour Childhood Memories Say About You and What You Can Do About It.Carol Stream, Ill: Tyndale House Publishers, 2012. Internet resource.