A Childhood Memory

I have a few happy memories that I think about every now and then from my early years in Florida. Back then, it was just the three of us: my mother, my sister, and I. I had to be four and my sister was five. We were happy, hopeful, and content as we drove along in Mom’s metallic brown Corolla. It had to be the end of fall or the beginning of winter, because I particularly remember the trees that lined the road had lost their leaves and their dull grey branches revealed the blue cloudless sky from my position on the floor behind the front passenger seat. The grumble of the engine filled the car as it spewed warm air into the cabin. My sister sat on the floor behind my mother and peered out the window. We pretended that we were truckers and the seat-belt buckles were walkie-talkies chitchatting about whatever we saw. It was a game we played whenever we took a long trip somewhere. A tree flashed by my window and I hastily began to describe what I saw: “Breaker one-zero, the trees are nakeded,” an eruption of laughter from the front seat caught my full attention. I turned and looked at my mother like a curious puppy, “What’s so funny Momma?” I asked, after a few minutes her laughter settled to a snort and a giggle, and then she began to teach me how to pronounce the word Naked. It was a happy and funny little scene, my mother pronouncing the word and I mispronouncing it, and after my mother giggling, laughing, and snorting in her uniqe way. I asked my mother if she remembers, traces of it still lingers in her mind, but I remember it like it was yesterday. I can still hear the way I prounounced the word and her laughter that followed.