25 September 2014

Snow White: The Toddler Years

This is my mother. Aged young. A few things stand out in this picture: the freckles, the black hair, and the whacked bangs. I really want to know if she cut them herself before school picture day, or did my grandma do that to her?

Mama…if you’re reading…comment, please!

She doesn’t look much older than my Katie in this picture. And now the little girl in this picture takes care of MY little girl. The little girl in this picture never could have imagined a blonde-headed little granddaughter that she’d eventually care for nearly every week day.

My mama – and her two older sisters – grew up in the same house that I live in with my family now. Her bedroom was Katie’s current bedroom. It all looks a little different now, but the shell is still the same. Can you imagine…two little kids laid in that same room, looking at the same ceiling…and now they spend their days together in that same house.

Mama always tells stories about when she was little and how much she helped her daddy, my grandpa. It’s sometimes hard for me to imagine my quiet, sweet mother hunting rabbits and feeding bobcats and working cows and beheading chickens and castrating sheep.

When she was little, as the youngest of three children, she was often used as a toy, I believe. One of their favorite stories to tell is of the time they had a box big enough for Patsy Jane – my mama – to fit in, so they had her sit in it, and they pulled her all over the house. She lost count of how many times her head was banged into a wall as they turned a corner too fast.

One time, my grandpa caught a bobcat. They kept it in a cage for a while, which meant they had to feed it. So my mama went out and hunted small rabbits to feed it. She soon discovered, however, that it wouldn’t eat an animal that had already been “killed” by a trap, so she’d tie a string to the dead rabbit and pull it a little, so that the bobcat would think it was alive and “kill it” himself.

Those country days were a little more REAL, I think.

Although maybe not. After all, I could never imagine my girl baby helping to clean dove after one of Brady’s hunts, but that’s exactly what happened. All four of us were at my family’s place, and he hunted while we swam. She rode home with him that night, and he immediately started cleaning his birds. She hung around for the action and even asked if she could TOUCH THE MEAT. Maybe because we just had dove for supper a few nights earlier, or maybe because she’s rough and tough, or maybe because kids are just naturally so curious, or maybe because kids are just gross.

Whatever the case, she touched it, and then she helped Daddy feed the wings to Rosie the Cat.

So I guess it’s gettin’ a little real over here, too.

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