by Tony R. Lindsay
The truth is,
sixty-something years ago, I was a precocious and
exceptionally good-looking boy. My mother said
her only child was the cutest kid she had ever
laid eyes on. And smart, too. Her baby had blond
curls, big brown eyes, and the most radiant smile
in the neighborhood. According to Momma, no
family had a child so lovely and clever as her
Mommas favorite stories involved me running
up to her babbling about the activity of my
little kitten. Hurry Momma, come see what
the cats got.
busy. Cant you just tell me?
cats got your fat holder.
me to the back porch to find my kitten tussling
with her lacy new bra.
During my pre-school
years, I continued to be brighter than any of my
playmates. Jokes that passed over the heads of my
friends were not lost on me. Our aging neighbor,
Mrs. Webb, told Momma that she almost fell while
taking a bath. Momma urged the feeble senior to
be careful and inquired as to how she went about
taking a bath.
wash up as far as possible, and then I wash down
as far as possible. Then, I wash possible.
Momma and Mrs.
Webb guffawed. I sniggered too. Mrs. Webb said,
Dont worry, Ethel. That boy is too
young to understand what were laughing
Its good to know that after all these
years, Ol Possible still gets a good
soaping now and again.
teacher failed to notice my advanced mental
abilities. In fact, she told anyone who would
listen that I would never progress beyond
elementary school. Arithmetic was my best subject.
I was a whiz at adding single-digit numbers, but
adding double-digit numbers befuddled me. When I
could no longer add with the aid of my fingers, I
resorted to guessing at the answers. The teacher
was no help. She said something like, When
adding numbers above ten, you have to record your
nominal number and transport your dual digit to
my real downfall. I tried to remember that when
spelling cat, the t
follows the a which is preceded by
c. I got a lot of low marks and
would have been discouraged, but Momma would
engulf me in a warm hug. Dont worry,
son. Youre almost a genius and cute as a
School was a
drag, but I enjoyed wide-ranging discussions with
Momma. She mentioned the effects of wind blowing
across bent grass and holding kites aloft. Momma
gazed into the distance. I wonder where the
wind comes from and where it goes.
I stared at
her earnestly. Momma, even I dont
away many years ago, and I still miss her. When I
struggle to balance the checkbook or consult with
Spell Check after every paragraph, I know Momma
A person can
get through life with a rudimentary aptitude for
math and abysmal spelling skills. Its not
easy, but its possible.