Bridgette and I:The Early Years

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Remember when life was so hard because mom made you eat split pea soup again? You didn’t want to eat it because 1-if it was green, it was going to be gross because the only other green thing you could think of was diarrhea which is exactly what split pea soup looked like. 2-Your dad would sit there telling you that if you didn’t finish it, you wouldn’t get any dessert. So you’d sit there for what seemed like hours building up the courage to down such a repulsive substance. You were going to die of it anyway and then your parents would be sorry.  Either that or you’d just run away from home, find a rich family that would feed you coco puffs, and then that’d teach them.

I grew up in a family of 9 kids. Adam, Bridgette, Caleb, Dantzel, Ephraim, Frank, Gideon, Hannah, and Isaac. If you’ve ever seen the play, “7Brides for 7 Brothers” you’ll see a pattern in all this. My mom had planned it this way. My dad knew they were naming us all alphabetically but didn’t catch on to the play until I was born apparently. It made keeping us all in order since he could just count us off alphabetically whenever we went to church, scouting activities, or family trips.

Our family would be a great study for gender dynamics. My sister, Bridgette, was one of the toughest girls I knew. One of her hobbies was wrestling boys and peeing on the front lawn like Adam – that didn’t work out so hot, but still… Her point was that she could do just as well at any activity that any boy could. We all hated it when Bridgette was left in charge by mom and dad when they would go to the temple or company party because she ruled with an iron fist. She was out for power. She told you to vacuum the stairs, you better vacuum the stairs and do it well or she would have your hide so fast.

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I once told her, “you’re the baby sitter.” And she then proceeded to send me to my room. I really don’t know why. She is deaf and all I can figure is that I really didn’t know how to sign when I was young and I told her to sit on the baby or something.

She had her redeeming moments though. We would sometimes have a movie night and she’d make popcorn or provide something else to eat. I remember watching Disney’s 101 dalmations on what seemed to me to be a massively huge tube television. She made sure to make us close our eyes whenever pongo and purdy would lick each other because that was not appropriate. Anyway, so there we were eating cheerios and not watching cartoon dogs lick each other and the TV pops someplace in the back and smoke starts fuming from the case. Someone in the mess of kids yells, “it’s gonna blow!” So we all run outside to the front lawn and count from 10 to 1 because that’s how all bombs work. The house didn’t blow up so we figured that we counted to fast. So we count slower 10-1… nothing. I don’t remember at which point we decided that the house wasn’t going to blow up but we probably all slept on the same bed that night after such a terrifying ordeal.

One of her life career goals was to become a robber. She wanted to wear black and beat up boys. I think she got the idea that robbers could be as fabulous as Cat-Woman from watching too much T.V… Which we really didn’t do much. She just wanted that sort of challenge I guess. People used to say that she should’ve been the boy in our family and that I should’ve been the girl.

Growing up she also taught me one of my greatest lessons and also became one of the most supportive people in everything that I’ve done and all that gone through. I would not be the person I am today if it wasn’t for her. People generally say that I’m charismatic and outgoing. None of that would be true if it wasn’t for her.