Nothing brings life into focus like finding a list of things you wanted when you were a kid, and measuring it against the reality of your adult life.
That happened to me recently while going through a box of “Cindy” things my Mom has kept since my childhood.
But first can we talk about those locks of hair? I mean, why?
What am I supposed to do with the locks of honey gold hair in the Ziploc sandwich bag? My mother has saved these for 50 years. They’ve traveled across the ocean and back, not even attached to my head.
The artsy-craftsy among you might suggest making some kind of shadow box, so that my once-golden hair will be forever preserved behind glass. I guess I could stick my baby teeth in there, too. Yes. Mom also saved my teeth.
I have to admit that I saved my oldest child’s first tooth as well, and I can’t seem to toss it. I saved another son’s first tooth, but didn’t label it, so now it’s in a sandwich bag in my jewelry box.
And no, I don’t know why it seemed important to save those teeth. I blame my mother.
But back to my hair.
Facebook friends suggested the hair and teeth can be used for DNA purposes. I hope they meant tracing my genetic heritage, and they’re not referring to making a positive ID of my corpse, or using the DNA to tie me to a crime scene.
That’s almost as creepy as the friend who suggested I use it to make a voodoo doll.
The fishermen of my acquaintance suggested my golden locks might be used to make fishing lures. Also creepy.
Others suggested making a keychain or using it to make a clone of myself. And one fashion-retro friend said I could weave it in my hair to make a mini rat tail.
For now, it’s in my jewelry box with my kid’s unlabeled tooth.
While the hair and the teeth were a bit disturbing, Mom also saved quite a bit of my early writing – including a list titled “Things I Want.”
I suspect the list was written during a church service. My parents took us to church every Wednesday night and twice on Sunday, so I had ample time to hone my “sit still, be quiet” skills, and Mom kept a sheaf of scratch paper in her purse to keep me occupied.
I drew a lot of pictures and did even more writing. The writing took. The art, not so much.
The list reads as follows (remember I was 8, I spell much better now.)
A puple bike with training wheels
A 1000 dollars
A Maroon body shirt whith an Aqua skirk. And white go-go boots.
Some corel lipstik. And some peach lipclos. And some pink blosh. And some ponds lemon cold cream,
And some toys.
And a laveder dress with pink and lavender flowers.
But most of all I want God to come! Yas!
Obviously, I was 8 going on 18. Or I wanted to be my mother. Probably both.
Also apparent, I must have been hedging my bets on my wish list by making the good Lord’s return my most heartfelt desire.
So here’s the round-up.
I did NOT get a purple bike with training wheels. I got a blue bike with a red, white and blue striped banana seat. I tried to be grateful, but I was positive the patriotic color scheme meant it was a boys’ bike.
I did get $1,000, at some point in my life, but it was not gifted to me in any magical way. I had to work for it.
I did get a maroon body shirt. For those not familiar with ’70s fashion, body shirts were tight-fitting knit shirts with snap crotches. I suppose the idea was that your shirt would stay nicely tucked in, but let me tell you those snaps were awful, if you drank too much fruit punch at a birthday party and had to wait in line for the bathroom. That’s all I’m saying about that.
I don’t think I had an aqua skirt, but Mom had white plastic go-go boots that ended up in our dress-up box. I loved those boots. In fact, I just might find a pair online, so I’ll be prepared when they come back into fashion.
As for the makeup, I did wear coral lipstick topped with peach lip gloss in middle school, and I still wear pink blush. The Pond’s cold cream? Never used it, but Mom still does.
I don’t remember a lavender dress with pink flowers, but I did have some toys.
All in all, most of the things I longed for as an 8-year-old have come my way, so I can’t complain.
I folded the list and tucked in with the lock of hair and my baby teeth.
Someday my sons can figure out what to do with them. Cloning may be an option by then, and I’m sure having their mother cloned is every son’s dream.
Contact Cindy Hval at email@example.com. She is the author of “War Bonds: Love Stories From the Greatest Generation.” Her previous columns are available online at www.spokesman.com/staff/ cindy-hval/ Follow her on Twitter at @CindyHval.