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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Grasshopper on Your Hand

You're walking home from junior high and you take a shortcut. You walk past the side of a house, up the drainage ditch and climb up some cinderblock stairs to the gate of your back yard.

You reach up for the latch, open the gate and as you're about to walk through you feel something on your hand. You look - YEOWWW - a huge blackish gray grasshopper has climbed onto the side of your hand, just below your pinkie. You shake your hand but the grasshopper stays there; he's sticky. You have to pull it off with your other hand. You throw it into the iceplant by the the gate.

Why did you shout? Grasshoppers aren't scary, they can't hurt you, you know that. Your two dogs have come to see what's going on; they wonder why you made that noise. You're disoriented. You try to understand your fear, then realize you weren't afraid, just surprised.

You walk up another set of cinderblock stairs set into the hillside to get to your house and go inside. You don't remember anything else about that day, and maybe not anything else about that month, either. But you'll remember that grasshopper on your hand for the rest of your life.

(Optional theme for this week's Second Person Saturday: A Childhood Memory)
 

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You pause a moment to consider 2nd person Saturday and childhood memories. A long-ago scene flashes into your mind. Your family has driven to Chicago to see your newborn cousin. It is winter...cold...snow...ice. Your big sister, seven years older than you, and cousin, a bit older yet, go for a walk and allow you tag along. You're in a school yard a block from the townhouse. Now you've slipped on the ice, fallen down, and skinned your knee. Your big sister scoops you up, comforting you and drying your tears. You were what? Two and a half? Younger than three, for certain. That is your earliest childhood memory, but the knowledge that your big sister was always there for you lasts forever. Now, decades later, you are both there for each other. That's the true meaning of sisterhood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You read Sapphire's earliest childhood memory, and it's moving. The snow and ice are the great telling details. You wonder, what is your earliest childhood memory? Was it your first birthday party ... that's impossible, no one remembers that far back. You think maybe your parents told you the story so many times when you were young that you have created it in your memory bank.

You also appreciate Vrab's photo-reference contribution to Second Person Saturday ... don't you*?

*Little metafiction trick.
 

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You are a very small child and have been set on the grass in the backyard on a fine summer afternoon. You peer around you and take in the sway of the trees; the swooping and chirping of the birds are an inspiration.

You hop, trying to fly to the tree branches and join them. Your father observes this an bestows you childhood nickname, which you will carry for years: Grasshopper!

(And it's a true story!)
 

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You're four or five years old. Your two much older brothers, who hate each other, are outside the house. One of them has a shot gun that is not quite put together because he has been cleaning it. Your mother is hysterical. You stand next to your father underneath the arched doorway between the dining room and the living room. Your brother, the one with the gun, appears in the window. The gun goes off accidentally. The shot comes into the house through the open window and creates a big hole in the archway right above you.

Pat Conroy, author of Prince of Tides, says that people with dysfunctional families make the greatest writers . . .

:)

PS This is my memory, not his!
 

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You're too young to talk and too young to even crawl yet. Your mother takes you out to the backyard because it's a beautiful summer day, sitting you in a "teeter babe" chair. Your mother then goes in the house to get something.

You notice the grass. It's so green and long! You also notice how the it waves around, enticing you to look closer. So you rock the teeter babe back and forth, trying to get closer to the grass. With each rock that you do, the coveted grass grows closer.

At long last you succeed. You tumple forward, face first down into the grass. Cool. Soft. Fragrant. You like the smell and the feeling of your face being tickled. You find this magical.

Then your mom comes back out and has a fit that you are hurt and quickly sets you back upright again.
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This is one of my earliest memories.  I remember several things back to before I could talk or crawl and I am in my 50's.
 
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