March 4, 2005

Never Scratch A Butterfly

When I was a kid, I took everything apart. Nothing was safe. There was this old-school Smith Corona that would probably be worth a mint today. It took me two days to separate every moving part from one another. While Im not clear on what eventually happened to all of it, years later I still found random letter keys from time to time. An old reel-to-reel tape deck wasnt safe either. Yet, somehow after Id eviscerated it, I managed to cobble it together again. And after I did, I discovered a tape. On that tape was the voice of my grandfather who died before I was even born. It played magically and was the first time I'd ever heard him speak.

When I was a kid, I called myself Dissider Bows. Im not completely sure about that myself, but in retrospect, it sounds like my first and last names run together by a two year old without a firm grasp on the English language.

When I was a kid, I built a toilet in the attic. Thats all Im going to say about that.

When I was a kid I used to love the long fall weekend afternoons. Just after Id been outside, playing football with the neighbors and just before eating dinner, Id lie down on the couch and nod off to Star Trek. It was always Star Trek. Or maybe that only happened once and it was a really good nap.

When I was a kid, my parents used to pack us all up and drive northwest for a few weeks every summer. Wed drive from Texas to Wyoming and Montana, sometimes by way of North or South Dakota. It took a day and a half just to get out of Texas. Whether it was in a boat-like Buick La Sabre or a tiny Mazda 626 with terrible air-conditioning, I saw a lot of the country out of the backseat of the family car. Just me and my parents.

When I was a kid, my friends and I would run around the bayou that cut through our section of town. It was heavily wooded and sunken, forming what looked to our small bodies like cliffs. There were caves and trails and abandoned sheds and it seemed to us like the most mysterious magical place ever. Now, I'm sure it would look small and unimpressive in reality but that's not the way it will ever seem in my head.

When I was a kid, I used to read aloud. Since this predated my ability to read, Id sit on a rocking chair with a book, making stories up as I spoke. One day, while reading, I came up with words of wisdom, the importance of which I may never again equal. Never, ever scratch a butterfly, I said. I couldnt tell you for sure what I meant, but it has to be true, doesnt it?

When I was a kid, I used to love to sing. I still do. Heres a song dont worry, its not me. Enjoy it and have a safe, wonderful evening.

On The Banks by Shawn Smith
Posted by Chris at March 4, 2005 8:31 PM

Damn beautiful song. I think I'm gonna have to get it on I-tunes!! And beautiful post. It's amazing how much of when we were kids we start to remember when we are going to have them ourselves!

Posted by: Nina at March 4, 2005 9:05 PM

Now that's a really lovely post Chris. Wishing Cactus, Fish and Lima Bean a lovely evening too. :)

Posted by: groovebunny at March 4, 2005 9:06 PM

lol - i always nod off to Star Trek too. ;)

Posted by: Dawn (webmiztris) at March 4, 2005 11:47 PM

Oh. Wow. Great post. Really wonderful, Chris.

Posted by: Jenny at March 5, 2005 12:33 AM

oooo... now i want to make a list of things i used to do as a kid for my blog! i bet it's much more interesting than the things i do as an "adult."

Posted by: jodi at March 5, 2005 2:12 AM

Nice post. Thanks.

Posted by: Alison at March 5, 2005 4:01 AM

Ahhh - whatta lovely song to start the morning off with. Cheers chris :)

When I was a kid I didn't do much cool, techy stuff. I mostly ran around pretending to be either a horse, or a transformer. It's a wonder my parents didn't wander if I had gender issues...

Posted by: Anakalia at March 5, 2005 6:37 AM

Nice post, Chris. :)

Posted by: Jon in Michigan at March 5, 2005 8:00 AM

These feelings of wonderment that you recall from your childhood are things that you will be able to give to your child now. Never forget the wonderment.
Thanks for the nice post!

Posted by: Jade at March 5, 2005 10:13 AM

Thanks for the song! I'm still trying to configure my audioblog correctly. For some reason I can't get it to work. Bleh.

When I was a kid, I had a battery-powered, green jeep that my dad made me a "driver's license" for (it was actually a college ID card that he made for me when he worked at the school). I loved to sing and dance and I called our dog "wah-wah" because it was a Chihuahua and I thought that was his name.

Posted by: Gweny at March 5, 2005 12:32 PM

Aww, I remember playing in the woods when my friends and I were younger too! So much fun, just leaving the house ready for anything and having adventures in all the nature.

Have a lovely weekend!

Posted by: supine at March 5, 2005 1:46 PM

Thank you for sharing so much of yourself.

Posted by: Rori at March 5, 2005 3:27 PM

When I was a kid I played Nude Barbie. My friend and I would make them sit in the camper naked, sit at the beach..and roll around on the little inflatable bed that belonged to the Sonny and Cher set.

Posted by: mrsmogul at March 5, 2005 3:59 PM

lovely tune, thanks!

Posted by: lindsay at March 5, 2005 4:12 PM

nice song....i was born in TX, we moved when iwas like 5 or summthin......i used to hate star trek, my fam loves it, lol!!

Posted by: lizabetty at March 5, 2005 4:47 PM

But I WISH it were you singing!! That would be awesome.

Posted by: DeAnn at March 5, 2005 11:58 PM

My husband tells our granddaughter all the time, 'Once, when I was a little kid...'
It's usually some wild story like he was walking in the woods and in walks this bear and he has to run and climb a tree and it just goes on and on. First few times he did this, she just listened, enraptured, big blue eyes open wide in amazement. Now, when she hears, 'Once, when I was a little kid...' she just rolls her eyes, looks at me and says, 'Grandma!? What's Grandpa telling me this for?'

Posted by: wlfldy at March 7, 2005 7:58 AM

Wow, that is very apropos right now because I am going to see family this weekend that I haven't seen since I was a kid - grandparents, uncle, cousins. I have been reminiscing a lot lately. That is such a lovely post. I am audio-deficient though, so I am missing out on what I can only imagine is a charming song. I'll check it out later.

Posted by: ms.quilty at March 7, 2005 12:26 PM