My Memories of Jerry & Me as “Little Kids”

From the time he became more than a baby (what, 2 yrs old or earlier?) we were best friends, constant companions and playmates until I became a teenager or the separation may have even begun at around my age 12 and the 6th Grade but for sure by my age 13 or 7th Grade, Junior High School days. Just one of the many cruelties of adolescent change is to quit playing! 🙂 And to think you are grown up and can’t have a little kid tagging along.

“This is the real secret of life—to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.”

~ Alan W. Watts

My Fondest Memories

Parents don’t often think to make photos of their children playing and so far I have found none of us playing with blocks & toys on the floor and later with cars & trucks or army soldiers on the floor of house and better yet on the ground in the dirt around the roots of the big ol’ Oak Tree in the El Dorado back yard. We sometimes played with neighborhood kids in activities like hide & seek or later yo-yos, board games or cards. We built a little tree house in the Oak and a neighbor’s house had a tiny cave dug into the side of a hill as our imaginations ran wild with adventures, Tarzan, Cowboys & Indians, war, and more rarely some kind of ball game or we had a badminton set and a croquet game and horse shoes that were often better with neighbor kids included. But I guess the thing I remember most playing with Jerry was with either cars & trucks or army soldiers around the roots of that old Oak Tree! Plus climbing the tree! NO PHOTOS of any of the above! Just memories!

This photo of the toy John Deere Tractor was one each of us got one Christmas from our Uncle Harold Hardgrave who at the time sold John Deere Tractors.

But we did play with a lot make-believe and these few photos hardly do it justice!

The Beginning of Change

To become a teenager was a frightening thing and the social pressures unfortunately caused me to give up childhood joys and a very important relationship with my “little” brother and somewhat the whole family. But such was life in America at that time it seems. I’m not sure I will ever understand my teenage years or what happened to me between ages 12 & 20! 🙂 But I thought I had to do what the other teenagers were doing.

And to make things worse for Jerry, in 1952 as I turned 12 and began adolescence, Bonnie was born and Jerry became “the middle child,” squeezed out of importance by my adolescent changes and the arrival of a cute little baby girl. It had to be the beginning of some of Jerry’s emotional problems, that I was of course not aware of in my newly self-absorbed teenage state nor of course was a baby Bonnie. Mom was probably the most aware of these changing dynamics in our family, especially for Jerry, but this was also the time when Mother’s health started to deteriorate and it seemed to me that she was never very healthy after that, which I image also affected Jerry more than the rest of us in some ways, as he was very close to his mother. Then in 3 years we moved to another state which was also more difficult for both Jerry and Mother than the rest of us, I think. My childhood life and family was changing and life seemed out of control in some ways. No more childhood play me (unfortunately).

Nothing is forever except change.


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¡Pura Vida!