“You have to go to the principal’s office,” the teacher said. “Take your things. You’ve a doctor’s appointment.”
“Oh,” I said. “I do?” My arm was in a sling and a classmate picked up my books and put them in my bag. I couldn’t remember anything about a doctor’s appointment.
The teacher frowned. “Of course you do. Now, your father’s waiting.”
My dad signed me out and carried my bag. I was in the 5th grade and had sprained my arm roller skating. “Dad,” I said. “What doctor’s appointment?”
He laughed and opened the car door for me. We went to the mall and had ice cream sundaes at the drug store. Then we went for a walk along the lake and investigated houses under construction. Dad let me take a stone from one construction site home. There was no doctor’s appointment.
A few years ago I decided to let dad know I remembered that day when his second wife was gone and he thought of me. My dad never took a sick day or missed worked for any reason. Usually if I got sick I stayed home alone.
“Do you remember that, Dad?”
My dad frowned. “I did that?”
“Dad, that was one of my favorite days of my childhood.”
He shook his head. “Doesn’t sound like me.”
“But you did. You took me out of school and spent the whole day with me.”
“I don’t remember that,” he said. “I think you’re confused.”
Memory is a tricky thing. Ever go back to a book you read as a child and find the book was nothing like you remembered? Was it better or worse? Or do you avoid going back to those childhood loves lest you are disappointed?
What books did you love as a kid? Do you still love them today? Why did you love them then? Why love them now?