In the summer before fourth grade, my family moved across the beltway, and this is my second memory of saying good bye to something.
The first occurred in that same summer and, in my nine-year old world, it was a tragedy. There was an emergency hurricane evacuation at our usual beach vacation spot, and I could not find my one and only favorite stuffed animal, Tweety Bird. Some background: this was not the Warner Bros. version (though later eventually I got that too) but it had the same name (printed on its shirt), a really round face, and was given to me because of my, well, duck lips. I wanted to leave a note but didn’t know the address of the new house. My (slightly) older cousin put hers down, giving me a small bit of hope as we drove away. He never did come in the mail, and the beach, including our hotel, was hit. RIP the original Tweety.
We moved later that summer. I remember packing; my job was to label the boxes with my newly acquired handwriting skills. This kept me quite occupied and at some point I ran out of markers. When we pulled out of the driveway with the final box, leaving the old house became real. I cried as much as I cried at the beach. But I don’t quite remember saying good bye to my friends; I didn’t understand that some I’d never see again.
Part III: In the beginning I wrote letters.