Little Kathy was all of 4 years old when Mother, Father and Little Kathy moved into the big house on 13th street - the white stucco house with a front and back porch, three bedrooms and a basement,Â a yellow kitchen and an aqua living room, a crab apple tree in the backyard, and a large front yard with a big hill that emptied into the busy street below.
A whole new world opened up for Little Kathy. Sure, the apartment in University Village was OK Â– but it was getting small for Mother, Father and Little Kathy. Little Kathy was sure that her sisters must be coming soonÂ and the family needed a house big enough for 5 people.Â The White House, as Father had fondly called it,Â would do just fine, thank you.
In University Village where Mother and Father went to school, Little Kathy could not play "Row Row Row Your Boat" on her plastic flute for hours on end or hop, hop, hop in her plastic-bottomed jammy feet she called Bunny Jammies. She made it a game to see how many hops it would take before her jammy feet would wear out.Â A week or two, at most.
She was tired of hearing how Mr. Brown downstairs wanted to sleep in the afternoon and didn't want to hear Little Kathy play her plastic flute. She was tired of hearing how Mr. Brown wanted to sleep in the morning and the evening, too. Little Kathy began to think that nobody wanted to hear her play the plastic flute or hop, hop, hop in her jammy feet.
Truth to tell, little Kathy could be quite a pill, without even trying.
So, when Little Kathy was 4, going on 5, and no longer in nursery school but waiting for the two sisters the Doctor made Mother promise would come one of these years,Â and waiting out the terribly long year before Kindergarten, Mother and Father moved Little KathyÂ (plus Ginger, Tawny and Siami) intoÂ the White House on 13th Street.
The backyard stretched forever; at least, until the garage, which led into a small footpath directly to the cemetery, where Little Kathy would soon discover baby squirrels.
The white stucco house gave little Kathy a new world to conquer, and conquer she did. She loved the side yard where the trellis connected the front and back yards. She loved the big red Poppies, the tiny bell-like flowers on the Lily of the Valley and the cozy Hen and Chickens succulent that Mother told Little Kathy to look but never, ever touch. So touch she did. Big ouch.
But Little Kathy's favorite flower was the small flower with white petals and a yellow center. She picked them and brought them to Mother to put in a vase.
But Little Kathy couldn't remember the name of that flower.
So when Father was on his way to work one day, Little Kathy asked him to tell her, once more, please, the name of the flower she most loved in the whole wide world.
Kathy, that is a Daisy. I told you that last week. Do you remember?
Oh yes, Daddy, now I remember that I knew it. But I forgot that I knew it.
I will tell you a little trick about how to remember things.
What is that? Little Kathy's eyes grew big. Must be magic.
Repeat the word you want to remember - repeat it three times.Â Say Daisy, Daisy, Daisy.
So Little Kathy said, Daisy, Daisy, Daisy, sure she'd never ever forget this lesson now that it was squarely drummed into her.
I will remember it,Â Daddy. I will say everything three times and I will remember them.Â I will remember everything that ever happened to anybody and then I will write it all down.
Daddy looked at Little Kathy closely.
I am going to be a writer.
Daddy didn't know what to say to a tiny 4 year old.
Writers suffer, you know, Daddy told Little Kathy.
Little Kathy looked up at Daddy, who must have been 6 feet tall and said,
Oh, I have suffered. Believe me, I have suffered.
Daddy put his arm around Little Kathy and kissed her on the forehead.
Daddy, you will see. I will remember everything that ever happened and then I will write it down.
And to this day, nobody, not even Little Kathy, has any idea of why she said she had suffered. For she was such a happy Little Kathy.
Next stop: we have to go back to the beginning.
The True Adventures of Little Kathy - Galveston
Copyright Â©Â 2007, 2008, 2009.Kathryn Esplin-Oleski. All rights reserved.