chocolate is a verb

colors, flavors, whims and other growing things

glimpse…

LRK to DAK in SBAs I search to understand myself through the evidence of my childhood, I rely on scraps of memory, old photographs and a few pieces of early artwork. While each is revealing in its own way, I’m never entirely certain of the truth — whether I’m seeing something real or simply what I want or expect to see.

I don’t know how often my father wrote to my mother during the months she lived in Santa Barbara, or whether she wrote back to him. But from that time, when I was 3, this letter survives.

My father recounts in some detail our dinner with cousins, then writes,

“I made a remark to Ida [my babysitter] yesterday that Judy’s hair was getting pretty long. Well, our Tootsl [one of my father’s many nicknames for me] picked it up & wouldn’t let me rest last night until I had given her a haircut — which didn’t turn out too [word missing] at all and was well worth saving $1.25.

“She said to me tonight, ‘Why is Mommy staying in Santa Barbara?’ I said, ‘So Mommy will get strong & healthy & we’ll have much fun together.’ She asked, ‘D’you mean that Mommy won’t have to eat in bed any more?’ which, I think, is pretty sound observation.”

It’s a rare glimpse into my young self, not as remembered, but as observed: trying to understand my mother’s absence and make sure not to displease my father by having hair that was too long. Between my parents, it was easy chat about the day’s events; for me, it is in some way the kernel of my story.

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