In the first house of which I have any meaningful memories, we had a bright blue and white metal swing set that I spent years being an Olympic champion on.
And singing the lines: Oh, she floats through the air/With the greatest of ease/This daring young lady/On the flying trapeze
(Over and over again because they are the only lines I know. Which turns out to be a good thing since the song is about a MAN on a flying trapeze who steals another man’s lover and then forces her to dress up like him and fly on the trapeze.)
I also spent quite a lot of time upside-down on the swing set. I had learned that blood getting to your brain was a good thing. (Thank you public school education. PS. USA kids are ranked 25th in science.)
My theory went: the more time I spent upside-down getting blood to my brain, the smart I’d be. And since I have an Ivy League education, a medical degree, an Olympic medal in trapeze and I can’t make pancakes, I’m pretty sure that I was right.
(I’ll be patenting the metal swing set upside-down genius position any day now. And we can all have Mensa kids. Of course, Mensa won’t be as cool when everyone can get it. Maybe it’ll have to up the ante. And only those parents who are REALLY dedicated upside-down-ers can force the blood to grow a MENSA BRAIN. Also, I’m not in Mensa. But I’m currently on an hour a day upside-down regime again so we’ll see.)
My backyard had a giant hedge that gave 2/3rds of our privacy, and the third side had two large fir trees and a large pile of sticks underneath.
I don’t recall where those sticks came although I have awful memories of having to GO OUTSIDE AND PICK UP STICKS before my dad mowed the lawn. I was so tortured by this never-ending process because in shirking my duty I could BLIND MY FATHER with a a mower-launched-sticked trick that I swore to NEVER EVER make my children pick them up. (And now that I’ve written it in my blog, it’s official. E and N? You’re welcome.)
But even with the horrors of stick picking up, I still explored the GREAT STICK PILE OF WONDER when I wasn’t pretending to be a man hanging upside on a swing set.
And I discovered one stick had a small section that looked like the rainbow of an oil slick.
I called it the Rainbow Stick.
As in I spoke to it.
The stick may or may not have spoken back.
It was like my oracle. Some people commune with God through a priest. Or an altar. Yoga. Psychics. The stars. Psychics for the stars.
I spoke through a stick with rainbow.
(By the way, the stick did NOT tell me to hang upside down. I came up with that ALL ON MY OWN. Although I may add finding and communing with an oracle as one of the benefits of the metal swing set upside-down genius position. My one hour a day regime is REALLY paying off.)
This trip down memory lane (which probably DOES feel like a trip. perhaps a bad one.) came up again because the other day E was running around pretending his best friend from school was at our house.
I giggled and whisper to Scott: I’m starting to worry about his social life.
Scott: Well, at least he pretends a PERSON is here. Your closest friend was the Rainbow Stick.
Also, why I am never telling Scott another story again.
Except now he’s nodding yes and grinning.
Double-touchÃ©, Scott. Double-touchÃ©.