Randy, over a GeneaMusings has posted his weekly SNGF challenge!
Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible music!), is:
1) Remember when you were 12 years old? On a summer day out of school? What memory do you have of fun activities?
2) Tell us about that memory (just one – you can do more later if you want to) in a blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a comment on Facebook.
I have many more memories of the summer after my 7th grade year, when I was twelve. That is because it was my first year in a new town after my parents divorced. Unfortunately, they are general, rather than specific memories. Children of divorce ride a roller coaster of emotion, and I was very unsettled and upset, and had a lot of many ups and downs.
When my parents separated during the previous summer, we three children had no idea what was going on. I had never even met anyone who had divorced parents, and I had never heard the word, divorce. I know it is hard to imagine in this day and age, but that is the truth. My mother was a strong, independent person, so she followed the logic I remember so well, and headed off to a new town and a chance for higher education at the University there. The move was sixty-five miles, and Mom did it herself, using a U-haul and we children helped load and unload. I was 11, one brother 10, and our youngest brother was 5. We moved beds, dressers, and box after box of other items all by ourselves.
Things were radically different in my new town. All my old friends were far away and long gone from my life. No one knew who I was, and no one cared. We lived in an upstairs apartment, much different from my two story home in my old town. Mom, who was attending the university just two blocks from our home, became engrossed in her classes and I felt much like an afterthought. Dad never called, and we rarely visited his home in our old town. It was as if he had disappeared.
After being the “new kid” all year at school, I had settled in a little. That first summer in my new home I remember the organized activities at a local elementary school. The school was open for set hours each day, and kids dropped in and took advantage of planned activities. I played kickball, basketball, foursquare and jump rope. During these long summer days, I had fun and met many children from the neighborhood. I remember feeling terrible when the weekend rolled around, since there were no activities at the school on Saturday.
Thanks to all the volunteers, aids and parents who make drop in centers and open gyms available for children’s activities. Those tough days of my twelfth summer were enriched by some very caring adults.