Bridget Stillwell: Childhood Memory . . . .”Free, Not Free!”

Bridget Stillwell, Creative Writing Student

I jumped up from my chair and shouted, “No! I’m free, not free!” My brothers laughed hysterically. What was so funny about my age, I wondered. 

“Oh, so you mean we can buy you for free,” they teased. Now I was upset. What are they talking about? I was not for free. 

“No, I’m free!” I exclaimed, as I stomped my foot in desperation. I was simply telling them that I was three years old. Was it really so bizarre that it should have them rolling on the floor with laughter? 

I am not sure why this memory has stayed with me all this time. It really holds nothing of importance. I was simply trying to communicate to my brothers that I was three years old, not that I was “free.” In my mind, it was very clear what I was saying, but when I spoke, my lisp warped my words to say the wrong thing. Of course my brothers knew exactly what I was trying to say, but thought my inability to pronounce the “th” sound, and the frustration that came with it, was hilarious. And so, being the good older brothers they are, they pounced on the opportunity to tease their baby sister.

When I think of it now I laugh at my little three-year-old self in her pink sweater, stomping her feet with a pout on her face. I was so worked up over something that is now so miniscule. I think it is strange that I am able to recall such a random, unimportant memory as vividly as I can. However, I enjoy being able to reminisce on simpler times with my brothers, when my biggest problem was that I could not pronounce my words properly. Needless to say, I have since overcome that struggle, and I am now able to pronounce the word “three” with ease. However, with that comes change and growth as those happy childhood memories fade deeper and deeper into the past.