Rediscovering a Treasure of Youth

When you were twelve, did you know what you wanted to become when grown? A few days ago, I started going through a closet full of photos and old papers from years ago with the idea of getting rid of some of it and organizing the rest.

After days of sorting and tossing, I discovered an autobiography I had written. It was an assignment which my seventh grade teacher, Miss Galbraith, gave us students several months to complete, and told us our success or failure carried with it a large part of our overall grade for the year and was due in the spring. No pressure there!

I remember being perplexed about how to begin, since my life had started out so different from the other children in my class. A large part of my early years were spent in foster care and later being adopted, so I didn’t have the usual baby pictures and mother and father photos for Illustration. I had to start somewhere, however, so I began with explaining I was adopted and I wrote about my last foster home, adoption, and a couple foster children who came to live with us later.

I wrote about my church and singing in the various choirs through the years, and about my friends, and about school. In sixth grade, a couple of my poems were published in the school newspaper. It’s strange to me that I still remember writing them and I can still recite them at the age of seventy-two. I mean, gads, that was a loooong time ago! Why do we remember such things? Here’s one:

        Snow Fairy

     I am a little flake of snow,

     Falling from the sky;

     I bounce and toss and whirl away.

     Such fun – oh me! oh my!


     I gently touch the treetops tall,

     And scamper here and there;

     I rustle on the window pane,

     With not a thought or care.


     And when at last I reach the ground,

     And join the other flakes of snow;

     We play a game of hide and seek

     With piercing winter winds that blow.

I wrote about how my leisure time was spent and about vacation trips to the western states, Canada and Florida that I’d taken with my parents and suddenly, it was spring and my autobiography was soon due.

In trying to write the last chapter, I found myself in a real quandary. I originally wanted to title it, “My Future,” but I had no idea what that would be. What I did write is as follows:

“…I do think putting down a lot of facts and reading them over has helped me to realize that there really is to be a future and what it is like will depend a lot on how I shape it. My mother and father say there are many things I might do and have explained to me that most of the professional fields require a lot of work and training. They have suggested I might want to do something in dramatics or music, because I like to entertain people. I think maybe I may want to be a writer, because that would be another way to make people happy.”

As I ponder the words of my autobiography, written so many years ago, I’m surprised. Dumbfounded, actually. I don’t remember them. I thought my desire to write came from the search and subsequent discovery of my sister’s whereabouts much later in my life. What a revelation! That writing seed was planted when I was twelve, not during my fifty year search.

How about you? Have you discovered something really significant about yourself many years later that was buried in your subconscious? I’d love to hear about it.


Filed under life, musings, writing

9 responses to “Rediscovering a Treasure of Youth

  1. Sorry, I couldn’t get a space between the end of the poem and the beginning of the next paragraph. Grrrr! Oh, well.

  2. I always enjoy your posts, Coco. I love it that you were thinking of writing when you were so young. My niece has been writing some stories and I hope she will keep it up. I also used to plan stories and draw pictures and name characters when I was in grade school.

    • Thank you, Sherrie. I enjoy yours, as well. Yes, I hope your niece will continue to write as she gets older, too. I’m certain she gets plenty of encouragement. You were even younger than I when you started the creative life. It shows!

  3. Pat Gordon

    Hi Coco,
    Your very interesting blog brought back to me fond memories of my fourth and fifth grade teachers who introduced our class to Ferde Grof’s magnificent Grand Canyon Suite; we read “Man Without A Country” and we were taken to New York City to see “Viva Zapata” starring Anthony Quinn. I am eternally grateful to these two women who laid the foundation for my love of museums, books and historical films.

    Your poem was beautifully written. I can imagine i am that little snowflake.

    All the best to you, mynFriend.


    • Thank you, Pat. What wonderful experiences you had and it’s so great they sparked a passion in you for the arts. I can remember excursions to New York City, too, to the Natural History Museum and the Hayden Planetarium, and then to Philadelphia to see the Liberty Bell and Betsy Ross’ home. Ah, memories!!! Thanks for reading my blog and leaving a comment!

  4. I remember I wrote a poem about a rose, then tried to pretend it was writtn by someone else. I wanted to know what they thought of the poem, not what they thought of me. I remember writing an essay where I decided I wanted to be a writer too. I love your blog post. Thank you.

    • Sheila, was the reaction a positive one regarding the rose poem? Interesting that you wanted an honest answer and not one based on friendship. That reminds me, I had a painting in our local museum for a while and I remember going into the gallery room and standing nearby, as though I was just another visitor, to hear people’s comments, incognito. The only comment I didn’t want to hear was, “Oh, that’s nice.” I didn’t get it. 🙂

  5. Renée

    Great story Coco! It got me to thinking about how I must have always wanted to be a clown and never became an “official” one until in my 70’s. I am still “performing” in my 80’s. This past weekend I was a cat at a dog show and doing face painting for a fund raiser. Will send a pic in email. Love reading your blogs! You go girl!

    • That’s terrific, Renee!!! Good for you!!! You bring so much joy to others! I’ve seen some of your clown photos and they are wonderful! Can’t wait to see more!!! You go girl!!! Too!!! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your passion!!!!!

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