I blink

(First in a series)

I’m sitting in the basement. On the television in front of me, Mary Martin sings “I won’t grow up!” I don’t know when I first saw this video of her performance as Peter Pan, but by this point in my short life (I can’t be more than three years old), I have already watched it so much that I have memorized the entire show, dialogue and songs. I am in love with the character of Peter Pan and the idea of never growing old. “Not me!” I sing with the TV.

I blink

Mom holds me against her hip as she opens the car door. The garage light buzzes near my head. Inside the car is a black garbage bag. Inside the bag is the body of Dad’s dog, Fleegle. I know that Mom says he’s dead, but I don’t really know what that means. He looks like he’s asleep, aside from being in the bag. Later that night, after I go to bed, Dad will bury him in the backyard.

I blink

Mom and Dad are out tonight, so Gina is babysitting me and L. I don’t know if it’s the first time she’s watched my new sister, but it’s definitely the first time she’s watched me since we got the cats. Merlin and Archimedes (named by me after the characters in Disney’s “The Sword in the Stone”) are not much more than kittens right now, and they get into everything. Merlin usually stays with the baby, but Archimedes follows me around. Gina finishes undressing me and picks me up. “Bath time, kiddo!” She walks into the bathroom, and promptly shrieks. There’s Archimedes, happily swimming around in the bathtub. I don’t see what the big deal is; the cat often takes a bath with me. But Gina thinks it’s wrong, and so puts me down so she can pick up the cat and dry her off.

I blink

Dad and I walk across the parking lot and into the theatre. We’re going to see a movie! The next thing I know, I’m sitting in the dark, listening to a nice voice saying, “Once upon a time…” as the opening sequence plays out in drawings that look like stained glass. Then Belle starts singing (“Little town/It’s a quiet village”), and I am in love.

I blink

I’m sitting in an auditorium. On stage in front of me, real live people are singing “Tender Shepherd”. I know what comes next, and I can’t wait to see it. Can people really fly? Like, really? The Darling children are tucked in, the lights are low. I hear chimes, and Tinker Belle appears, flitting around the stage. The music changes, getting louder… Peter Pan flies through the nursery window, and I’m convinced: Magic exists, and people CAN really fly.

I blink



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