April 4, 1968

The fleecy innards of my footy pajamas cling to my freshly powdered legs and feet. My fingers argue with the stubborn, unworked pop-and-lock beads which refuse to come undone.  With intention, I stay after them while the television mumbles. The setting afternoon sun leaves an early Spring bite in the air and I feel more tired than usual for this time of day.  The sounds of the evening routine trails faintly down the hallway as my older brother and sister now take their baths and avoid their homework. I hear the dryer buzz and the soft padding of my mother’s slippers in the wash room. My Basset Hound’s warm tongue finds the last bit of icing from my first birthday cake behind my right ear. He pursues it with earnest and topples me.  I clamor back to sitting using his silky, draping ear as a guide rope. He doesn’t seem to mind. The house still smells of chili, corn bread and chocolate cake and I feel content. I sense my mother approaching now with the day’s clean clothes and a lilt in her voice, and look to my left to greet her. But, in the turn of an instant, I sense the basket approaching ominously from above with careless abandon and am consumed by its shadow. It spanks the hard wood with a deafening BANG and sends the buzz of bewilderment through my diapered bottom and wildly through me. She is fixated on the TV and the shrill cry of “no!” creeps past the fingers that dare try to keep it in. For the first time I understand that, sometimes, not everything is right in the world.