I was thinking of a childhood memory the other day, and it made me laugh to myself, when I was by myself. It came out of nowhere and surprised me. I love a good surprise.
It was around 1967, so I was 6 or 7 years old at the time. My father had taken us to a Cub Scout Christmas Breakfast to see Santa Claus. As the memory movie played out, I remember seeing this Santa Claus, and was convinced that this was him, and not one of his helpers. I felt the excitement of that moment all over again as though I was right there. Kids were screaming and adults clapping, and Santa Claus waving with a very large sack.
What made me laugh? As we were walking out of the event, I was ahead of the group, and saw a chair out of the corner of my eye so I decided to sit and wait for everyone to catch up. I didn’t see that the seat part of the folding chair was already broken. Suddenly, I was going through the chair with my legs and arms dangling like a turtle upside down. I was stuck.
Another group of scouts went by and laughed, didn’t help me, but had a good laugh. One of them pointed. “Sheesh kid! How much breakfast did you have?”
I laughed. It was a funny comment. Still stuck, I looked down the hall and my father was coming my way. He was laughing as well. That experience of that sound, in that memory, causes me to laugh out loud even at this moment. I never thought about sound within memory…what a gift.
He pulled me from the chair and smiled. He always told me I was going to fall in a hole one day because I didn’t pay attention. “This was pretty close,” he said. Then he laughed as he shared that story, and imitated me looking like an upside down turtle, through the rest of the holidays.
May your upcoming holidays, and the memories of past holidays be filled with sounds of joy.