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Marilyn C Dailey, Ed.S

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Growing Up Inside
By Marilyn C Dailey, Ed.S
Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Rated "PG" by the Author.

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I spent more time in my house and in my thoughts.

Life was exciting being the twin sister of an adventurous two-year-old brother. We lived in rural Mississippi where my life seemed like a dream. That is, until my dad took my brother and me to live with my grandmother after the divorce. You see Grandma was seventy years old then. She couldn't keep up with two little demons like us. This was when my struggle really began.

One of my aunts, who lived about one hundred miles away, would come and play with us and say,
"Come and go home with me. You can play all day and eat delicious rainbow-colored ice cream."
Well, we fell for it and ended up staying with her until we graduated from high school.

The day we arrived, we saw two tricycles in the den. One was red with strips of plastic coming out of the handle bars and the other was blue. I rode the blue one and my twin brother rode the red one. And sure enough, we ate rainbow-colored ice cream and watched cartoons in the den for the rest of the day. Everything exciting happened in the den.

From eight years old, to my high school graduation, I was always sent into the den. The den was the next largest room in the house. The living room was the first; there were Royal Blue Children's Encyclopedias, red and white holiday songbooks, and loose-leaf sheets of music on top of a "gospel hymnal" laying on a piano stool.

My aunt soon started to give me piano lessons and expected me to practice.

Last but not least, I got to watch TV and eat a snack in the den. I could smell anything she was cooking, from fried chicken to baked pies while doing my homework in the den.

My aunt would always say, "Go into the den!" I never realized why.

"I used to think she was being mean to me because I was the only one who had to go into the den."

"If I asked if I could, go and visit some friends, she would ask me, "Are you finished with your homework or have you practiced your songs yet?" Gee, my friends lived right across the road.

I could only go with them to church, school, or to participate in a church talent show.

When I realized that the den would be her answer to everything, I looked forward to her answer being the same. After years of this the den became the place where I spent a lot of my time. I struggled with this kind of treatment for a long time.

"Life in my aunt's den has proven to be rewarding. I used to think she was mean, but not as I look back; I can see that she was trying to make me an independent, talented, and knowledgeable person. Unlike me, my twin did just the opposite and now he has problems going and coming.

I spent the biggest part of my life growing up in the den and for this I thank her.

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