…does that surprise you?? lol. I do, occasionally. I was thinking about my childhood. I was thinking about how stuff can really mess us up in this life, no matter how hard our parents try, or what actually happened. How so much of how we are formed is what we think or feel about what happened, however benign it might have been. Like, when I was little, I would tell my mom "I hate myself!" I’m sure something just awful had happened, like my drawing didn’t come out how I’d wanted…. my mom would tell me "well, if you don’t like yourself, no one else will". As an adult now, I know she was saying I needed to love myself…she was trying to help… but she sure didn’t give me the tools to do it! Somehow, she didn’t talk "my language". I also remember saying "I’m bored." Okay, probably whining it! Any of you who are parents have probably heard that a million times, right? Well, what my mom tried to say to me was "You’re a smart kid – think of something to do!" However – what she actually said was "Smart people don’t get bored." What do you suppose that meant to me?? Well, I am bored, so I guess I’m stupid, too…. This didn’t help me! Some of it must have been my makeup from the get-go… my older sister remembers mom saying the ‘bored’ thing, but she took it the way it was intended, somehow, but I didn’t get that. Kiki loves for me to tell her stories about when I "was little". I am the middle child, so of course, I was deprived. lol. You know, not the amazing firstborn, nor the wonderful baby of the family… just the one in the middle. So I have issues. I suppose that being abandoned at a campsite when I was 5 didn’t help. That sounds awful, doesn’t it? It wasn’t on purpose – the problem was, I believed it was on purpose. It happened like this: We were camping with our friends, and our campsites were within walking distance but out of sight of each other. The day we were pulling out, I wandered over to our friend’s campsite. They told me they were just about packed up and I’d better head back to my parents. Well, somehow my parents thought that I was going to be riding with our friends. By the time I got back to our campsite, my family was gone. I ran back to the friends’ campsite – too late, they were gone too! I ran out to the main campground road, and I saw my parents’ car. I ran as fast as my little 5 year old legs would go, and I almost caught up with them…which was actually bad, because we had a trailer, and even though I was so close I could almost touch it, that meant there was no way my dad could see me in the mirrors. I don’t actually remember if I called out to them, but geez, I was running so hard that if I did I’m sure it couldn’t have been very loud. So they couldn’t see me, they couldn’t hear me. But I was five. I thought they had to have seen me, and they left on purpose. They didn’t want me. I sat in the middle of the road and just cried. I don’t know how long I was there. Eventually, another camper drove by, and told me to get in his car and he’d take me to the ranger station. So I did. I don’t really know why I got into a stranger’s car… I knew I wasn’t supposed to. I’m not sure if it didn’t register, or if I just figured it didn’t matter anymore, or what. I do know that I always felt a certain comraderie with other campers, so maybe I just thought he was trustworthy… at any rate, he was, so there I was in the ranger station. I remember they gave me a coloring book and crayons, and I was just coloring and crying, and crying and coloring, all at the same time. No one remembers exactly how much time passed, but as my family was driving along behind the other family, my mom began to wonder if I was really in the other car. She kept looking for my little blonde head (all the other kids had brown hair) and finally she pursuaded my dad to pull over because she hadn’t seen me. So, dad pulls over, honking and flashing his headlights to catch our friends’ attention. (remember, this is before the days of cell phones!) We all pull over, and guess what? No Ann. I guess about now my mom gets hysterical, and they all turn around and head back to the campground. As soon as they find a payphone along the road they call, and sure enough, the rangers say they have me. I don’t remember them coming back for me. Isn’t that weird? I have no recollection of what was said to me… I just remember always having the thought that they came back because they were afraid the police would arrest them if they hadn’t. Like, they’d tried to get rid of me but didn’t get to. Isn’t that awful?? Which is probably why I talk so much to Kiki about every little thing that happens so she understands… and she’s probably thinking "oh shut up already!" The strange thing was, that as I grew up that incident was sort of a family joke… I mean, I don’t think my poor mom ever thought it was funny, she felt horrible about it…but, we would tease each other about "you better watch how you behave or they’ll leave you at a campsite" or "c’mon, you owe it to me – you know you did leave me at a campsite"…. so, it was always this funny thing that happened to me. Fast forward many, many years. I was in a class at church for ‘Emotional Healing’. Guess what? I have abandonment issues! Who knew??!! I can’t tell you how weird it was to feel the pain from that event that I’d thought of as a joke for all these years. But it explains alot, really. I’m okay now. I’ve grieved, dealt with it; grown up, you know. Now we joke about it again. I tell my mom I’m a terrible housekeeper because she screwed me up as a kid. She tells me to find a better excuse. Lol. It’s all good. So now you know why I’m such a mess!