The other day my daughter called and told me that she needed to write a paper about something "either thrilling or traumatic from my childhood or adolescence." As her mother, my mind went tearing around to several ...um... interesting instances that would have fit. Hers went in a completely different direction, finally settling on a particularly horrific hair choice I made for her as a child that apparently has scarred her for life.
This conversation lit up certain parts of my brain, and it's been firing for days now, hitting on various *odd* things that have happened along the way.
One of those that keeps making me laugh to myself every so often is about 20 years old. It was from our days at the renaissance faire. One of the gypsies had a bed of nails and a pet rat. At some point he decided that it would be a good promotional idea to make a tiny bed of nails and train the rat to use it while he wandered the streets hawking his show. Not necessarily thrilling or traumatic - but clearly in the odd column. It reminds me of how much more time people had before the internet.
Another would have to be the day I realized that hot air balloons have some risks. Bob, my bil was the pilot, and he and I were sailing along when Maryanne radioed up that the ground winds were picking up. We saw a good landing field coming up fast, so Bob let the balloon sink into a tree that would slow us down enough to land there. This is not really unusual, but we hit too low in the very tall tree and instead of just slowing us down, the basket got caught and we found ourselves on our bellies hanging on for dear life to avoid being dumped out on our heads. It was one of those moments where the illusion between every day life and "Oh $*!%" clash, of which, looking back, there have been entirely too many. I'm fairly certain it was my last flight.
My daughter had a lot of interesting adventures growing up. Lots of thrills, and plenty of trauma, and much of both were my fault - especially when she was very small. I can't decide how to feel about her settling on a bad hair style as a worthy topic, but since one of my favorite college papers was an ode to a volunteer tomato plant and another a love letter to my 17 year old car, I suppose it's all in how we look at things. I can't wait to read what she writes!