family is story

Six Seems About Right

Jen at the LakeFor whatever reason, in most of my childhood memories, I’m six years old. I wasn’t really. I wasn’t six all my life until I hit middle school. But it seems that way, looking back.

Why is that? Why is my childhood flattened down to just that age? If someone tracked my life according to the stories or memories I recalled, they would think my sixth year was tremendous—packed with lunacy, silliness, adventure and tragedy.

  • Was I six when my brother taught me it was Six Flags and not whatever it was I was saying? No.
  • Was I six when we got horses? No.
  • Was I six when I broke my arm or my other arm? No.
  • Was I six when my mom bought me a Barbie van that I played with all of Christmas day and then never again? Probably.
  • Was I six when I cut off the tip of my right index finger? No.
  • Was I six when my parents attempted to teach me water skiing? Definitely not.

But for whatever reason, the age of six is golden to me. Whatever childhood memory is recalled, I picture it in my mind as this six-year-old with long, flowing, golden hair.

Then I remember, I wasn’t six when my brother cut open the belly of a snake to reveal a bunny.

I wasn’t six when I rode my bike two miles to prove my mother was wrong—and she turned out to be right.

I wasn’t six when I swam a mile round-trip to the other side of a Lake Allatoona channel.

Not everything memorable happened at the age of six. If it had of, a movie would’ve been written about me long ago.

©2013 Jennifer Wilder. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint or publish this content elsewhere, please contact me through this blog.