I was in kindergarten.
We had just moved to a new desert town, where I turned six shortly after the move.
My Mom made me a teddy bear birthday cake. Not just a sheet cake with a picture of a teddy bear on it, but a cake in the shape of an actual bear.
The bear had a white belly and brown arms and legs. The frosting was in curly cues. It was not just a typical flat frosting spread over the cake. The curly cues gave the illusion that this bear was really furry and cuddly.
She had blue eyes and black eyelashes that were super curly. She wore a pink curled ribbon over one of her brown ears. The pink frosting reminded me of the color of pink cotton candy.
I remember this cake so well. It was the most magnificent cake I had ever seen.
That same year, I have another memory of breaking my arm.
We were playing at my elementary school’s playground on the weekend, and I was swinging from one large silver ring to the next, like a monkey.
I remember the day was warm and the sun was shining bright.
On about the third ring, I fell down. Not a slow graceful fall, but a loud thump to the ground. Luckily the ground was soft sand.
I stood up and walked over to my Mom who was sitting on a cement bench watching me and my brother and sister.
Walking with my left arm held out, I walked over to my Mom. I do not remember being upset, I just knew that something wasn’t right. I do not remember feeling pain.
I do remember that my left hand was just hanging limp at the end of my arm, and I wasn’t able to move it.
My Mom took one look at my arm and told me not to look at it, and to immediately get into the car. She gathered my brother and sister, and we headed to the hospital.
I remember I was wearing my signature long ponytails and a red dress. My older sister and I wore dresses every day up until 4th grade or so.
My memory of the hospital trip is vague, but I do remember when I had my cast taken off a few months later. I laughed a lot. Surprisingly, it was a very ticklish experience.