I wasn't allowed to go outside one particular summer day in August of 1983. I about had a heart attack.
But my mother consoled me by inviting every neighborhood kid over to our house. Imagine my elation at having a big party instead of having to play school with Maria and Wendy.
Don't mistake me, I adore my sisters, but sometimes they picked the stupidest things to play.
Anyway, my mother organized us in the hallway for some strange reason, but I didn't argue because it was a funny thing to do, and my friends didn't seem to mind.
We have this really long hallway. No windows, carpeted. I imagine there was about 20 of us sitting side by side. We were stretched all the way down. I thought this was the coolest, oddest, best concession for not being allowed outside.
My mother decided we should sing songs. The one I remember singing was "Row, Row, Row Your Boat". We sang it loud. We sang it soft. We sang it fast. We sang it slow. We sang it in cannon formation.
This was enjoyable even though I didn't understand the point. Usually, if I don't understand the point of doing something, I have a difficult time following through. Since I am an "almost third grader", I usually didn't do tasks I found irrelevant. (Like Math.)
But that day, I didn't question her, or fight her, or be generally stubborn.
I'm sure she was thankful.
Because the next day, when I was finally allowed oustide, I discovered why I rowed that boat....