What is Normal Anyway?

Most childhood stories ring of a similar truth. There are fishing tales and campfire stories. Hikes and vacation foibles. There are similar white middle class stories that people relate to – I don’t.

My stories are a little more out there, if you will. My dad wanted to live in 1895, my mother practically grew up in that time. My dad came from his imagination and re-enactments. My mother came from a sheltered log cabin childhood. I’m not lying.

My childhood stories involve historic recreation underwear and hiding my Barbies because they weren’t historically accurate. It’s looking like Little House on the Prairie and hiding under wagons in a mock “Indian Raid”. (Mind you I was five and the line between playing and reality was very thin.)

Childhood stories are my dad trying to show me to skin a wild rabbit he had shot (I was maybe 7). The gore wasn’t the problem, instead I freaked out that something was dead and he was the one that killed it.

My stories are getting lost in the woods, or family friends’ kids leaving me behind. It’s being used to peeing in the woods, then peeing in your aunt’s yard in the city and your aunt freaking out on you!

My summers were scrapped knees and cotton dresses, lace trimmed pantaloons and matted hair from playing in the woods.

Good or bad I watched horses get castrated. We had anatomy lessons over butchered animals. We were shocked by left raccoon carcasses my father failed to warn us about.

I’m the woman that had a harder time starting a camp fire with matches, because I had only ever used a flint and steel. I’m the woman that has a more than passing interest in anatomy and the medical grotesque.

My stories don’t match the normal – but my stories do make for an interesting ice breaker.

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