I broke my foot when I was five. I was playing around the building where we used to live at the time and lost the red barrette my mom had put in my hair that morning. I think it fell behind a bush or past a little brick wall-fence, or something like that. I don’t remember it clearly because I was five. But I remember how red my barrette was, and how I had a whole collection of barrettes just like it (they must have come in a multi-pack).
Yet for some reason I felt I needed this barrette and it was really important that I retrieve it. I fell over the (brick?) hedge and broke my metacarpus.
I remember loving being pushed around the grocery store in my mom’s cart because of my cast. I also remember doing it after I took off my cast, and making it a grocery store tradition that was later passed down to my younger sister. I remember the struggle of getting out of the cart in the refrigerated aisle because I wanted to get a closer look at the fruit yoghurt (lemon was my favorite at the time, and my mom sometimes deliberately chose to ignore my request of putting it inside the cart, so I’d have to do it myself — when she wasn’t looking because lemon yoghurt definitely wasn’t her favorite).
I remember learning to ride my green bike and getting really excited the day my dad installed a honk in the shape of a green-haired witch (in retrospect I think the witch might have actually been the guy from The Mask, but I’m not entirely sure). Earlier this year, I dyed my hair green. It wasn’t for Halloween or anything, I just kind of wound up really liking green hair.
I remember my friend from Wednesday afternoons (it was the day we’d meet up after ballet class and play in the park near where we both lived — we’d only see each other on Wednesdays because we went to the same ballet studio but to different schools), when she convinced me to eat flower petals because they tasted sweet like sugar, and that sugar was probably made from the exact same flowers. I remember telling my mom that I’d tried it and liked it. I don’t remember what she said (I think it might have made her a little angry) but I remember the purple and white petals of the sweet-tasting flowers from the park.
I remember the smell of wet grass in the spring I learned to ride a real bike (without the green-witch honk this time, and without the training wheels), and how the wind would brush my face just a little and make me think of motorcycles and my aunt.
I remember waiting all day every Saturday, from the time I’d wake up, through lunch, all the way until it was time to leave for my horseback riding lesson in the late afternoon. I loved the smell of ponies and leather saddles. There was a stream right by the barn where I’d go play after the lesson with my Saturday evening friend, and get my boots wetter and muddier so they were extra hard to take off when I got home. I remember the sky, the wind again, the heat from my horse (I had a grand total of three favourites at the barn) that would travel up my spine and made me extra toasty on days we got to ride without a saddle.
I remember loving horses and plastering my bedroom walls with blue tack and magazine prints of horse-sprinkled pastures. I remember loving ballet and the silk of my first pair of pointe shoes, waiting eagerly to get them slightly ripped and grey at the tips, just like the older girls. I remember the smell of talcum powder and the sound of the wood tip slamming on the wood floors. I remember movement, and I remember colours. I remember feeling my body change with the turn of the seasons, cycle after cycle, extending vertically (more than I would have liked it to) but also getting better at things I wasn’t born good at. I remember growing up through and thanks to all five senses, and I remember smiling inside my head because I could feel so much.