Summer 1989: How life looks at age 8

I always seem to stress my mother out. Everyone always tells her “you have the patience of a saint, or I don’t know how you do it.”

I don’t know why they say that. She is always begging me to “stop or sit still,” or pleading with me that “the dentist’s office is not the place for gymnastics.”

I never understood that one. Where exactly does she want me to do this stuff? She yells at me in the house too, “knock it off, you’re going to bust your teeth out.” She knows I have to work on my ninja skills. I figure that the place to get it done is either the dentist or doctor’s office, especially if I am going to lose teeth.

I don’t understand a lot about what grownups think, they’re so strange. I have a condition called A.D.H.D. My mother tells everyone we come across. I’m not sure what it means, though I figure it means something like, Awesomely Doing Happy Deeds. Only because she starts telling everyone about it whenever I’m doing my karate moves with my imaginary friend Chuckles.

I’ve never taken a karate class but Chuckles and I watch a lot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. My mom tells me that the most important part of karate is in your mind. She always tells me when we’re practicing downstairs, to find a quiet place to meditate. Meditating can be real boring, at least it used to be before Chuckles and I started to write songs. We are pretty good song writers. We sing about whichever room we are meditating in. Our favorite song is called The Wash Room.

“Pile for darks, pile for whites, We like the park, but not at night. We are ninjas in the wash room. Rah rah boom rah rah boom.”

We got to sing it in Sunday school once. My Aunt Jane is my teacher. She loves our moves. I get so excited when I go to Sunday school. Aunt Jane says she can see Chuckles, which makes sense cause in church people see all sorts of things. She seems to see everything, even a holy ghost. Why there is a ghost with holes in it at church, I don’t know. Chuckles and I asked Pastor Bailey once why we couldn’t see it and he told us,

“You’ve got to have faith.”

I know he knows what he’s talking about because he’s got a whole church full of people that have it. Besides, I’ve heard the song too. My Mom blasts it when we go garage sailing on Saturday mornings. She cranks the volume up, and the windows down. Something that famous has to be true. I try to tell mom that she has to have faith when she gets all worked up about how Chuckles and I act in public. She gets so mad sometimes she actually tries to tell me he’s not real. As much as she listens to that George Michael cassette you’d think she’d understand.

My Dad is my Aunt Jane’s brother. He says I’m special. He works a lot, but when he’s home we do everything together. Sometimes he does my karate moves with me. When he does, my Mom always tells us to take our awesomeness outside, that she’s going to have a breakdown. One of our favorite things to do together is riding our bikes all over the village.

I have a Big Wheel bike and it’s FAST! Sometimes he can barely keep up with me. He waves at everyone. Either he knows a ton of people, or he just likes to wave, I’m not sure. When I’m playing with my Dad, Chuckles isn’t with us. I’m pretty sure he’s meditating though. Any who, I gotta figure out how to get mom’s hair dryer out of this tree before she finds out that Chuckles took it. We used it as a machine gun against the invaders from the hedge yesterday.

She’s been looking for it all morning and we are late for something, I’m not sure what we’re late for, but I know we were suppose to be there 10 minutes ago …

Ivory Fishgold is a Sinclairville resident. Send comments to