I am four years old.
I am walking alongside my father at the Veterans Administration. My father is a blind man, and everyone is cooing at the little blonde girl, who is way too tall to be a 4-year-old. That right there must be some kind of a mistake.
An ancient figure bends down beside me. It is one of my father’s friends.
We are in the veteran’s hospital, and I am a welcome sight, apart from the usual routine.
“How old are you?” one of my father’s friends asks me.
“I’m 4,” I say confidently, realizing that all eyes are at that moment focused upon me. Seizing the spotlight, I then pause for dramatic emphasis.
“You know," I tell him, very proud of myself, "I used to be 3.”
Great gales of laughter ensue. What a precocious little girl. So filled with import.
Of course, a lot has changed in the years since.
Well, not the inflated sense of self-importance I suppose, but I did grow a helluva lot taller, for one -- and of course, I am now 38.
I used to be 37.
But I still love this story. Who knows. Maybe it didn't even happen at all, but I've heard it told so many times by my father that it's now my standard story of what I was like as a kid.
Do you have one of these go-to's? You know, an anecdote that immediately conveys "this is what you need to know about me when I was an itty-bitty-boo-boo" story. I know you have a good one. Or do you not have one about you? FINE. I will take an emblematic way-too-adorable story about your kids, you responsible parent.
PS: Bonus points if you upload a picture of you as a kid! Please?
Find Mandy long-form at http://tinyurl.com/stadtmiller.