My story from birth to childhood to age twenty-five is similar to that of so many others around the world. I grew up in a suburb on a street where the houses were lined up like the houses on Monopoly properties. There were multitudes of kids from our street to five streets in opposite directions and we knew everyone. Our house was unique only because there were steps on our tree lawn, which for those that know what a tree lawn is, it’s the small patch of grass from the sidewalk to the curb and might be about four feet in depth and definitely does not require steps. I have to tell you it was those steps that saved my determined but very lost self. I’ll tell you the quick story.
We had just moved to the area and it was my first week at my new school. I was in first grade and my brother was to make sure I got on the bus and got home okay. I had decided that I wanted to walk home and my very protective brother, not so much, disobeyed what he was told and let me. By the tenth time of me ping ponging by the McDonald’s the owner must have concluded that I was lost. I will never forget how he kindly brought me inside, sat me up on the counter and got me a milkshake. He asked where I lived and I had no idea, so he called the police. The police arrived and asked the same questions,
Policeman “What is your address?”
Me: “I don’t know.”
Policeman: “Do you know what street you live on?”
Policeman: “Do you know the numbers of your address?”
Policeman: “What is your phone number?”
Me: “I don’t know.”
They walked me to the car and opened the door and thought maybe if they drove me around I might recognize something. I didn’t recognize anything but what I did remember and proudly proceeded to tell the policemen was that my house had steps on the tree lawn. As funny as it might seem they immediately knew where I lived and drove me home. My mother, absolutely frantic by then because my brother was home and I obviously was not, was outside when the police car pulled up. My mother exhaled deeply the breath I’m pretty sure she didn’t know she was holding and relief washed over her. I don’t know what happened to my brother but I’m pretty sure he got a good old talking to because after that day he made sure I was always on the bus.