Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Childhood Memories

Do you REALLY remember your childhood? I thought I did. I'm doing a childhood memory swap with Margaret, Linda, Carole and Patty (we named ourselves the Queen Bees which Linda has now shortened to "QB5"). I thought I had it in the bag. I knew exactly what I wanted to portray. Something altered looking with old stuff. Something pretty typical looking. Formula even. You know, "formula" for altered art.

Then I looked in the photo album and found something other than what I was looking for. My real, authentic childhood. Hardly formula. I am a first generation American whose first language was Byelorussian. I couldn't speak English until I started school (kindergarten) and was forced to learn to communicate. To this day, I remember kindergarten as a mostly silent movie. I didn't understand most of what the teacher said until later in the school year.

Anyway, I digress (as I am prone to do). So here's the photograph I found to use in the childhood postcard (4x6) swap. I am about 4-5 years old, dressed in a Byelorussian national costume, posing with my brother Victor. Mom took pictures of us when we were dressed for church or other special event. Here, we were probably ready to go to a festival. I always felt different. Not American. I hated being different. Now I enjoy it. Mine was not a Norman Rockewell, sepia colored upbringing. I lived with Eastern European folk designs and several languages spoken when visiting with friends (Russian, Polish, Ukranian and Byelorussian). Now I can't speak my first language to save my life, but I can understand a smattering of several.

What about your childhood makes you who you are today? I would love to read about it! Post a picture and send me a link.

8 comments:

Jeanie said...

Adorable photo and adorable you. I'll have to think about the answer to your question -- and when I get it, I'll post!

Anna said...

AWESOME - what a great blog challenge - I have just the picture from my childhood. I am sooo happy that you shared this lovely story with us..... I did not know you were of eastern european russian descent..... Matt my hubby can speak a little russian (studied it for several years) and he spent some time there as well and the caspian area - I was thinking of having Russia be the next world tour stop!!! Anyhow - You look BEAUTIFUL in your picture can't wait to see your postcards!!! How amazing that I am a friend of two of the QB5 :) xo - anna

Margaret said...

Full of surprises you are! fascinating post! It reminds me of when i first arrived here and sitting thru various German events and not having a clue what was going on, very isolating and so much worse as a child. Wonderful pic of you both, can't wait to see the finished card.

~*~Patty Szymkowicz said...

Precious picture of you and Victor! Loved hearing about your background. I spoke German before I spoke English and really treasure my European roots! Can't wait to see what you create!

Donna said...

Oh I Love the picture!! 1st grade was a corker for me...I wouldn't speak to ANYONE for the first 6 weeks!! The Nuns went crazy!hahaa...hughugs

Ashlyn said...

How adorable you are!!!

I'm glad that you now enjoy being "different". I always enjoy being around you, for that very reason. You are special! Unique!

There are a lot of things about my childhood I don't wish to remember. But when I think deep and hard, I know it is those hard times, along with the good, that made me the person I am today. For that I thank the Lord, for I am blessed!
Hugs, Ashlyn

Linda said...

Yes...adorable photo of adorable you. Can't wait to see your card! Gosh, I'm the least worldly of the QB5!!! I'm just plain ol southern folk. hahaha

whimsymoon said...

Omy goodness! You were such a cutie!!! So adorable!