I remember the summer I was twelve. It was 1963 and my family moved
across the river to a new house in a new neighborhood in a new town, and
I would be going to a new school in the fall. I would leave the school friends
I had for seven years and would be in class with a whole new group of
almost-teens. What if no one liked me? What if no one wanted to be my friend? What if no one loved the Beatles, especially Ringo, like I did? What if everyone thought I was weird because I played the violin?
I think what surprised me when I started writing was that I never really thought much about that summer and the feelings I must have had as a twelve year old, an awkward age to have to forge all new friendships. But the feelings were there, bubbling to the surface as I wrote. Perhaps I didn’t think much about that summer because the memories of myself as a twelve/thirteen year old were overshadowed by what happened in the fall of that year. The friendships I made then are some of the strongest I have experienced. These were the friends who surrounded me the day our principal announced that President Kennedy had been shot. Could that have had something to do with it?
Perhaps someday I will continue that narrative. But for now, it is enough to remember the impact that events can have on who we are or who we grow up to be, and we should write about them.