When my brother, Tom, 13, was walking home from St. Mary’s Playground with two of his buddies and they were jumped by three black boys and money was demanded, my brother said, “We don’t have any money.” (It’s true – we didn’t.) The other white boys ran home, the thieves took my brother’s new mitt, and Tom came home to tell us. Mom kind of looked proud but said, “That’s life.”
When Billy down the street scratched my face and I wrestled him to the ground and scratched his face the same way, his mother came to the front door. I was called down to face the consequences. Mom said, “I will take care of it,” and shut the door. I explained that he did it first and got smacked before I could finish.
No one was ever rushed to the hospital, except when I conked my head on the corner of a glass-topped coffee table. The four of us - Tommy, Kathy, Joanie, and I - were quite physical with each other and had some, um, “minor altercations.”
Desirable family anthem next? Yes and no. Pain does not remain, and I learned how to convey because of them, and yet, and yet I did not realize that everything I needed was in my arms, and the crown was real.