These few posts describing my birth and parentage have been some doozies! I know sometimes the first blush when reading about a friend’s trials and tribulations is to feel bad for them. Honestly, don’t spend a moment of your time feeling bad for me. My life is actually pretty sweet. I figure for every second I spent trying to wade through my childhood and come out on the other end without getting soaked soggy to my bones, I have been repaid in triplicate with happiness on this side.
I was never neglected, had everything I could ever need or want and I was not an abused child either. But that does bring to mind another story.
I woke up one morning and Jane and I started the tug of war about what I would wear that day. I had opened my underwear drawer and saw that my favorite pair of panties in the world were in there and I was going to wear them that day, and everyday if she’d let me, or bust. They were special! The bottom end was covered in frilly lace, but even better was that for every row of white lace, there was a row of pink bows. A row of lace. A row of pink bows. Another row of lace. Another row of pink bows. Oh wow! they were the prettiest panties ever!
I was four years old.
“No Katy, those are for Sundays! They go under your Sunday school dress. You can’t wear panties like that for every day. Here, put these on.” and she handed me this tired looking pair of cotton underwear. I stood my ground and held the lace bloomers behind my back. Jane hardly ever won the daily outfit struggles with me and it showed because you just never knew what fashion risk I was going to be making next.
She relented and let me wear the bloomers under my little seersucker sundress with the yellow duck embroidered on the front. I giggled and ran through the house twirling around so my dress would fly up. What good was wearing the pretty bloomers if you didn’t get to see them?!
I remember this day distinctly because I had just learned to read and was very proud of myself. My cousin Tink was staying at his mom’s house for a couple of weeks and she lived just down the road from us. I loved Tink! He was super smart! I thought he was the best cousin ever and I was excited to read one of my books for him during his visit.
Tink was 17 years old.
When Tink walked through the front door I ran to my room and gathered up my favorite books. Jane told him she would be back in the kitchen getting dinner started if we needed her we could just holler. Tink sat down in my grandfather’s chair and I crawled into his lap and opened the first book. I followed along with my finger under the words as I read.
Meanwhile Tink is squirming around and just can’t sit still. Finally he puts his hand under my bottom. “What in the world are you wearing?” he whispered. I loved to whisper!!! What little girl doesn’t like to whisper?! I cupped my hands around my mouth and I whispered back that these were my favorite special Sunday School panties and I beamed at him with 4 year old pride.
Then he whispered that I should go in the bathroom and take them off and come back.
Take off my favorite panties?
Did he have any idea how much I had to argue just to be able to wear them today?
Was he out of his mind?
Then I did something he probably wasn’t expecting me to do.
I yelled for Jane.
Jane came running and Tink was trying to put his hand over my mouth to shut me up, but I was little and wiley and he never stood a chance. When Jane rounded the corner, Tink stood up. I fell on the floor, but I wasn’t hurt. I was spitting mad though and I looked up at Jane and said “Tink tried to make me take off my panties!” Oh I was insulted beyond belief! How dare he!
The thing is, I wasn’t insulted because he was trying to molest me. I really had no idea what that whole process was like because no one had ever tried to molest me or make me do things of that nature, so I had no idea what his true intentions were. All I knew was that no one was going to make me take off my favorite bloomers! Not even him!
Tink was never allowed to be in a room alone with me again and I didn’t understand that. I loved Tink. He died in an automobile accident when he was 21 years old and I cried for him. At his funeral a few of my girl cousins were all whispering about things Tink had done to them. By then I knew that these were bad things and I asked them “Did you ever tell on him?” and they all shook their heads no.
So Tink was another dirty little secret my family kept.
The moral to that story is to teach your kids to yell when they think something is going on that shouldn’t be going on.
Jane may have been unable to provide for me in a materialistic way, but she raised me to know right from wrong and to always be very clear about what I wanted because she didn’t understand innuendo and nuance. When I think of some of the tales I heard about my other cousins growing up, I wouldn’t trade my station in life for anything. They were just as privileged as I was, but they did things I would never even consider doing! It’s not because I am prudish, it’s simply because it wasn’t correct behavior for children.
Anyway, I dodged the child molestation bullet. I wish all the girls in my family had been as lucky as I was, but they weren’t and that’s sad. They didn’t have Jane to run to their rescue. They didn’t have Jane, someone that would believe what a child told her and also understand that what he was doing was wrong.
They didn’t have Jane to look out for them, but I did and I was the luckiest child in the world to have her on my side.
About my birth father…writing as much as I’m going to write, and this might not be much, but it will reflect more effort on my part to write this about him, than any effort he ever made for me. Can you say deadbeat?
I have never met him.
I was told his name is Robert Beasley, but who knows if that’s even true. I have no idea where he lives, or if he’s even still alive. I have never seen a picture of him, so I have no idea what he even looks like. No worries there because I look just like Jane. He never contacted Jane again after she told him she was pregnant and he never contacted her after I was born. He has never made any effort at all to find me and he easily could have because Jane never changed her name or moved away. All he ever had to do was let his fingers do the walking.
It is my own humble opinion that based on his lack of interest, I am much better off remaining a stranger to him.
And that’s about all I have to say about my birth father.
It’s like this, no matter what life throws in your path, you have to deal with it. You don’t always have to have the perfect solution. All you can do is your best and if you do your best then no one can find fault with that. It helps not to take many slights thrown at you in a personal way. Never allow them to invade your inner peace. Let them bounce off like the ball of garbage they are. They don’t belong to you anyway. They are not your problem. When people are mean, it’s usually about how miserable they feel about their lives. It’s never about you.
Until the next story pops into my head that I can’t wait to share, this is Madeline Laughs and she wants you to remember that Life is a journey and the destination all depends on how you live it.
- Knickers, panties, underpants and drawers… (charlesywhitham.wordpress.com)
- the big underwear debate (yingmin331.wordpress.com)
- Tomorrow (madelinescribes.wordpress.com)
- Can opened. Worms EVERYWHERE! (madelinescribes.wordpress.com)