The Life And Times Of Six-Year-Old Jane

Hi. I’m Jane. And I’m a big girl, now.

I’m six. And my life has been so very, very full.

My earliest memory is sitting on the basement steps, eating this pretty blue stuff. (Drano) I was about 18 months old. It didn’t taste very good but it sure looked sparkly. The next thing I know my mom’s nails were jabbing into my armpits. It really hurt. But my mouth and eyes were stinging, too. Then water was rushing all over my face. My mom put me in the tub with all my clothes on. I can’t believe she let me get all wet and messy like that. Time for a new outfit! I love changing clothes.

I like reading with my mom and my sisters. I have 3. Two are twins and they’re three years old now. When they were babies I would help my mom feed them a bottle while my other sister held the book so mom could read to us. My dad snapped a picture with mom and I each feeding a baby and my sister on the floor, holding the book. I like that picture.

I have more things I remember that I don’t want to talk about. My parents were very stressed, having 4 kids in the span of 3 years. They did the best they could but it didn’t feel like it at the time. Tired. Angry. Mean. My sister got pulled by her hair a lot. I’m glad my hair is short. Some cruel punishments that shouldn’t be mentioned. I tried really hard to be good, to hide the evidence if we messed up. To clean up.

Sometimes it worked. Other times?

I don’t like to remember those times.

I loved my plaid skirt, my Baby Boo, my red bicycle. I love visiting my grandparents. Everyone is happy there. No one fights. And my grandmother doesn’t let us get hit.

I remember the moment I learned to tie my shoes. I was waiting for my mom to finish changing the twins and I was tired of waiting. I played around with the laces and suddenly I realized they were tied. I was so excited. I jumped up and told my mom. She brushed past me and muttered, “Well, it’s about time.” I didn’t care. I did it all by myself. I will never forget that moment.

I play with my sisters and we have lots of fun together. We play pretend mostly. My sister closest to my age is so funny. She makes me laugh all the time. We protect each other. We giggle long into the night, that is, until my dad comes in and tells us to be quiet. She’s my best friend.

There was that time that I had to go to the hospital because I OD’d on baby aspirin. My mom and the twins were napping. My sister and I were bored. So, we played tea party. We wanted real food but we weren’t supposed to leave our bedroom. But there was a bottle of pink pills on top of the dresser. And they tasted like orange candy. We pretended they were tiny cookies. I ate most of them. I guess that’s why I had to get my stomach pumped. It hurt. A lot. But the nurses were so nice to me. They didn’t yell at me because I made a mistake. I wanted to go home with the one with the curly hair.

I remember the day that all my friends got to go to kindergarten and not me. I wanted to go to school so badly but I wasn’t old enough yet. But now, I’m in school and I love it. It’s a lot better than staying at home.

So that’s me. Jane. Six years old. In school and loving it.

As long as I can go to school every day, I think I’ll be ok.

If you had a six-year-old memoir, how would yours read? Feel free to share here, in the comments section, or on your own blog.


Filed under children, Growing Up

15 responses to “The Life And Times Of Six-Year-Old Jane

  1. Heartbreaking. You sort of raised yourself, sounds like.

  2. It might be my lady time talking, but I am crying like a baby reading this post. Just ugly, snotty crying. You have a way with words,lady!

  3. Oh Jane. This was hard to read, and I imagine, to write.

    There’s so much about parenting that we now do differently – the attentiveness and the discussion that some have come to criticize. But there are reasons for that attentiveness and discussion. And some of them are right here, reading you, reading between the lines, and thinking back to very different times.

  4. Oh, Jane, this makes me both deeply sad and extremely impressed at how much you’ve accomplished and how far you’ve come. Your piece is also an important reminder to me of the potential schools have to save; I wonder if your experiences are what inspired you to become a teacher.

    • You are exactly right. I had some amazing teachers who inspired me, looked out for me and kept me safe. School was a happy, wonderful place for me growing up.

  5. Wow. It’s sort of a miracle that you’re alive on several levels, huh? Lucky world.

  6. Oh, Jane, that’s so desperately sad. There are feelings in this post that tell me clearly why you’re such a child advocate.
    I don’t have any urge to judge your parents but I feel deeply that I want to hug that little girl. And take her on a long date with a movie and a hike and ice cream. God I want to buy 6 year old you a book and some ice cream.

  7. You are amazing. And should write more of that memoir. I have a feeling the 7 year old has something to say as well.

  8. This is very beautiful Jane, and in some ways I can relate.

    Reading this made me sad because I can’t remember what it was like to be 6. I’ve blocked out so much from my mind that I really have very few memories at all.

    I wasn’t happy at school or home.

  9. Jane, I really don’t know what to say. I typed out a few responses and hit delete. There some experiences you don’t want to talk about because they hurt and it means reliving them again, every painful second of it. So I want to say, lady, I admire your courage and your truth. And how you took that six year old little girl and worked toward the wonderful person you are today. xoxo

  10. Wow. Just wow. Great writing. Great story. Heartbreaking and amazing all at the same time. You’re awesome, Jane.

  11. This reminded me a little of “The Glass Castle.” I’m so glad you grew up to share your writing with us, Jane!


  12. There’s not much I can say that hasn’t already been said in other comments so many thanks for sharing and digging deep. 🙂

  13. When I was six, I remember a lot of fun play with my other siblings. It as those days when all you think is play, play and more play. but I was also sickly, I was asthmatic. There were no inhalers then. I remember being in the hospital every few months. The medical know me by name. I had to stop schooling for 2 years but It was a blessing because I met a lot good friends along the way. I had a lot of insecurities then having to be mostly at home but my family’s love and support proved more powerful. I’m a better now because of them . My son’s 5 and he’s the healthier , active version of me. The things I may have miss then and able to share with now and it’s just great. Thank you for sharing your earlier childhood, it’s a beautiful one.

  14. Really beautifully written.

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