My Childhood in 1000 words or less

Arts & Entertainment

  • Author Eliza Cordova
  • Published September 10, 2022
  • Word count 926

Immediately after reading the assignment, I let out a sigh and an “oh boy”. I wasn’t sure if talking about my childhood without including my mother would be possible and it’s not.

My childhood began in Texas, went into Kansas for a short period and finally ended in Oklahoma.

My mother gave birth to 7 but the older 2 siblings didn’t survive outside of the womb. I was the 7th and last child born to migrant workers in Houston, TX but I have no memories of Houston because my family relocated to San Antonio.

My earliest memories are set in governmental assistance apartments known as the “projects”. A lot of duplex apartments and children running through the yards, playing marbles on the sidewalk. I recall an older lady would come once a week, and now I’m assuming it was on a Sunday but it could have been a Saturday. She would come with pictures on an easel and read bible stories to any kid that cared to sit down long enough.

Around age 7 we moved into an actual real house. It was near a river and I remember being so small it used to feel like we would walk through a forest to get to it. When I returned as an adult, it was a small brush that seemed like a forest.

The house was in a dangerous neighborhood, we weren’t allowed to walk to school alone. One night my oldest sister went to the gas station with our younger brother and a group of boys assaulted my sister and my brother was able to run to our house to get my dad and my uncle. I remember they jumped in the truck and a couple of my dads friends jumped in the truck bed as it was speeding off and they returned with my sister. Her Red Wing boots had been stolen but she was unharmed, thankfully.

My parents worked a lot so I actually don’t have a lot of memories with them. My father was a mechanic and often smelled of sweat and oil and his hands were always dirty. My mother always worked in restaurants. I know we would eat dinner together but it wasn’t a regular thing because I hardly recall it. My oldest sister actually took care of the kids and house. My sister loved to read and she had a routine of kicking all the kids out of the house while she cleaned and then she would read while eating Doritos. We could only play on our block but it was often full of kids. I learned to ride a bike by myself when I was 9 years old because I wanted to ride with the other kids.

At the age of 10 my parents divorced and my uncle, who lived in Kansas convinced my mom to join him and his family and so we moved and I had no idea I wouldn’t see my dad again for 12 years.

Kansas wasn’t bad. We lived in a trailer park and it wasn’t dangerous so we actually had freedom to roam around the park and play. My oldest sister was of age and stayed in San Antonio but I still had my other sister and we would play outside making mud pies and looking at insects.

After about a year in Kansas my mother remarried and we moved to the Oklahoma panhandle. By this time there were 3 kids left with my mom and we did not get along with my stepdad. There was even a time we lived in two separate apartments because he didn’t like us and we didn’t like him. He was borderline abusive. Only physically abusive one time towards me, his method of abuse was mentally and emotionally. My mother was a devout Christian by now and she met him in church so she believed in her heart and mind that he was providing structure and was the authoritarian us children needed. I have learned to forgive her for that. My other 2 siblings moved back with my father and I was left alone. After a few years of marriage my mother received a phone call. The lady on the other line was looking for her brother in law. Which happened to be my stepfather…

Yup. He was married to someone else and my mother had no idea.

At this time I was 13 years old and my mother needed to leave the marriage and that meant she needed to leave the home and so she left back to Kansas and left me with a family friend in Oklahoma.

It would only be for a little while, she returned the next year and I moved back in with her. At the age of 14 I was smoking pot and going to high school parties. My mother was reconstructing her life, she was figuring out who she was, I’m assuming, and I was neglected. I got involved with an older guy and because I always looked older, no one questioned it. Not until I was caught with a stolen vehicle and ended up in Juvenile Detention. By then I think my mom knew I needed attention and so then she started spoiling me. This was in the late 90’s, when checkbooks were still around. She added me to her checking account and bought me a car. I was the coolest 10th grader and you couldn’t tell me otherwise.

At the age of 16 I got pregnant and that was the end of my childhood.

I am barely getting comfortable with my writing and joined a creative writing class. One of the assignments was to write about my childhood and submit it for publishing.

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