I promised to write about the chain around my neck in the school picture taken in Germany

When I was in the first grade we moved to Germany. My Dad was in the Air Force. Every day about an hour before the bell rang to go home I would start to cry uncontrollably until they would finally call my Mom and she would come to school and pick me up. This happened every day until finally my Mom got fed up and took me out to get ice cream and just sat and visited with me. She finally got me to tell her why I was crying at this specific time every day:

We lived off base in a big house with a basement, main floor, second floor and attic. It had a high rock wall around it with a gate that locked when you went out and in order to get back in, someone either had to push the button in the house to unlock it or you had to have a key.

Unbeknown to my mother, my brother, who is four years older than I, told me that some day I would come home from school and Mom would not be home and a German would kidnap me and they would never see me again.

Now, I have always believed everything my brother ever told me (let's not go into my Santa Claus stories here) so I knew it must be true. The fact that my mother did not work and I had never come home to an empty house was beside the point.

Once my Mom found out what the problem was, she had a key made for me, hung it on a chain that I could wear around my neck and I skipped off to school with no more tears. The key was one of those big old fashioned keys about 6" long. I am told that I walked bent over from the weight of the key, but no more crying.


Can you remember something specific from your childhood
that changed who you are in a positive or negative way?
Are you aware of events in the lives of
your own children that will have an impact on
their development?

2 comments

I swear i've read this story before... have you posted it elsewhere? Anyway, I still love it- and I have a few of those childhood life-impacting stories of my own.. I'll have to post sometime!

You are adorable in that photo Sandi! I have a lot of childhood stories (most of the life-changing ones are quite negative) but I hadn't thought about my kids in this light.

It sure makes me want to sit down with them and have a little chat--what a wise mother you had!