In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Our House.” –
What are the earliest memories of the place you lived in as a child? Describe your house. What did it look like? How did it smell? What did it sound like? Was it quiet like a library, or full of the noise of life? Tell us all about it, in as much detail as you can recall.
My earliest memory of my home I lived in as a child was one of a full house. There were seven of us; my parents, two brothers, and two sisters. We lived in a two bedroom railroad apartment, living room, and kitchen, with a small full bathroom. We had the bigger bedroom with two full size beds. My brothers slept in one and my sisters and I slept in the other. Of course, there was no room for play in that bedroom, but nevertheless, I remember always having a comfortable clean home. Come to think of it, I don’t know how my mother did it.
One of my fondest memories from my childhood is when my mother and a few of the neighborhood mothers would walk together to pick us up from school. The mothers wait together across the street in the park, as the children come out from school. We would enjoy a little playtime in the park when we got out of school. Once every child was there, everyone started heading back home. Everyone parting ways once they reached their home, ‘Until tomorrow morning,’ they would say to one another.
Upon reaching the door to my home, I distinctively remember the wonderful aroma of homemade food. Mother always had dinner done before picking us up from school. She didn’t believe in snacks. She would have us wash up while she starts placing dinner at the table. Mother always fed us before my father arrived home from work. After dinner she cleared the table and had us do our homework at the kitchen table. We weren’t allowed to speak or play until we were all done with our homework, and we had to make sure it was done before my father got home from work. Once homework was done we were aloud to watch television, while taking turns, one of us took a shower. We all knew our daily routine. It’s not to say our mother didn’t have to go and repeat the same thing everyday.
Always the house nice and peaceful, maybe a few scuffles here and there, until mother came out with her stern look, as if ready to run at you with the whip. I say whip, because that is exactly what it was a whip made of either skinny tree branches, or an old wire from an old television, or an old radio who saw its last days. Don’t get me wrong my mother was not an abusive person at all, but she definitely knew how to get us all in tip top quiet shape. It was like that old saying, ‘the bark is louder then the bite’. Not to say that she will bite you, stop it now. My mother is a sweetheart. As a matter a fact, she is the favorite sibling of the twelve that she has, and she is the favorite aunt. So yeah, with that said, she’s the top notch of the family. I am simply saying that she knew how to work us, to get us to do what we were supposed to do when we were younger.
The house was peaceful, until my father’s arrival. I remember like it was yesterday. My siblings and I always looked forward for my father’s arrival home from work. At times when he had a good day, he would walk in the building singing, and we would all hear his singing while coming up the stairs. Of course, we would scream ‘Daddy’s home’ running to open the door and greet him at the top of the stairs, jumping, hugging, and kissing him. Mother would scold us, telling us to go sit back down. We would patiently wait in the living room. Father would go shower have a small conversation with mother, but then as soon as he sat down to eat his dinner that was our cue. He rarely had a peaceful dinner. How could he, we always wanted to be around him. We always surrounded him at the table, talking to him, watching him, taking food from his plate. In the background, it sounded as if mother was so far away, she would say, ‘Stop touching your father’s food. Go to the living room and watch some television. You all had your dinner. Leave your father alone for a while’. My father would just laugh and share of his food, especially if it were fried chicken. Mom learned in the long run to make extra food and place it on my father’s side, so that he can share with us and in this way mother assured that father would have food for himself. That was one good memory of my father. He would rather give his dinner to his children and go hungry. I remember this, because he told this to my mother on several occasions. I, being the oldest, remember many things that my siblings don’t.
After dinner, we would all go to the living room, and my father would play with us. You would swear they let out the zoo animals. It didn’t matter what we would play. Several times I remember he would be our horsey. Other times, he would play a monster and we would all jump him, knocking him to the floor, while all along, laughing, screaming, and running. Yes, running, in a two bedroom railroad apartment. I can’t imagine us doing this to him now, we must have been very tiny back then. There were times that my father, after his dinner, he would take us to the park to play tag. He would play the big bad wolf, and we were the hunters, tracking him down, or he would track us down. Mother was there, of course, watching and laughing.
Sad part of these wonderful memories, I don’t remember when it all ended. But nevertheless, I am ever so grateful to have those memories. They will be forever in my heart and be cherished wonderful memories.