Day Eleven: Size Matters (In Sentences)
Today’s Prompt: Where did you live when you were 12 years old? Which town, city, and country? Was it a house or an apartment? A boarding school or foster home? An airstream or an RV? Who lived there with you?
Mixing up the lengths of your sentences creates variety for the reader and makes for much more interesting reading.
Today’s twist: pay attention to your sentence lengths and use short, medium, and long sentences as you compose your response about the home you lived in when you were twelve.
This post intends to not make you sleep while reading. Let me try to spare you from such agony.
My parents were old-school catholics. They had as many kids as possible, until my mother had health issues. The end result: Five boys and three girls. So we had to live in a house with a garden, terraces, a courtyard and many rooms.
All my single child’s friends dreamed of having a family like that.They enjoyed coming over to play with us. Ou parents preferred us inviting them home than the other way around. Sometimes it felt like a club! There were always kids arriving after school to play football or volleyball in our courtyard, as we lived at walking distance from school.
I would oscillate from love and hatred of the experience. I loved the liveliness of a full house, added with the presence our many friends. And of course, I loved the boys! I liked the attention but also how they equally cared for their friend’s little sister. If any kid at school would do something against me, they would jump to the rescue. Just like my brothers.
But forget privacy and isolation. These are unknown words in a big family. You don’t even learn to spell it. Useless. Everything will be shared and collective. Even your thoughts. There will always be someone asking: “What’s up?”, never leaving you alone. Some friends of my brothers may have thought that our house was the Hotel California…they never left, until being called by their parents!
When I was 12 years old, I lived in this big house, in the city I was born in Brazil, with my parents and 4 brothers. But wait? Where are the other siblings? My two eldest sisters and an eldest brother, had gone to study in another city. They would be back only during holidays or vacations time. I had a bedroom only for me! My paradise. I missed them dearly, though. The house felt empty without them.
I enjoyed the kitchen and its large windows overlooking the courtyard. That’s were I would watch the boys’ games. That’s also where I would join another brother in his cooking experiments, mixing various fruits and seeds, and literally almost killing us, as he didn’t know of the poisoning effects of one of those seeds. I also loved watching my mother’s trials after her cooking courses. She didn’t like cooking but loved making deserts. She was my role model.
The spacious living room overlooking the front garden and a hill, was a ‘no-fly’ zone. Not because it was forbidden, but because we’d better not mess up than being grounded. I was a ‘frequent-flyer’ though, because of the telephone. The phone was on top of a dresser, taller than my height. I would stand on a chair and spend time there. That ended when I tripped over my foot, and stumbled forward, bringing the phone, and a Chinese vase with me, while watching it breaking into many pieces before my eyes. It was a very special gift that my father gave to my mother. Oops.
My parents entertained many guests due to his business. They also received many priests and nuns. I recall having seen them home, more than at school or the church, and more than I had wished.
My parents still live in the same house, although only the two of them. The house underwent many changes over the years, fulfilling my parents wishes for a new look or functionality. It does not feel entirely like my childhood’s house. I have also gone to study in another city when I was 13, and have never returned to live there.
Fourteen houses, eight cities, four countries, and three continents later, I still have the fondest memories of my time in that house.
In hindsight, I never hated that our house resembled a ‘Turkish bazaar’ crowd and vibrancy. It was there, during formative years, that I learnt to share and appreciate diversity. I have also continued the tradition to have a house full of guests and friends.
Just so you know: at the end of the first year we lived together, my husband told me that we had more guests than he had his whole life! But that is another story…