Welcome to the Summer of Love.
Sounds like the title of a song.
We didn't see that father for a week or so, but he came back. Mothers and fathers they would leave for a week or so and come back. There were plenty of others around, but I noticed, Every time they did not come back for a day, I would wondered if they were gone for ever. I was so happy when they would come back.
I loved the 'Summer of Love'.
It was the year they fixed my face. It was the year music was in my life the most.
It was the year that, other than my mother, I felt the most excepted in my life.
Strangers sung to me. The woman in the park, who had a big laugh. She expected everyone laugh when she did. I remember, I know people say you can't remember that far back, they are wrong, sitting in the park. I was a little sad, the mothers and fathers were more interested in other people than me. She came and sat down next to me and sang:
"Oh sit there, oh count those raindrops
Oh, feel ’em falling down, oh honey all around you.
Honey don’t you know it’s time,I feel it’s time,Somebody told you ‘cause you got to know
That all you ever gonna have to count on
Or gonna wanna lean on
It’s gonna feel just like those raindrops do
When they’re falling down, honey, all around you.
Oh, I know you’re unhappy."
She kiss my forehead and tries to go off with her friends after one of my mothers noticed someone else around me. My mother with red hair seemed really happy to see the woman. She told her she'd seen her in Monterey. They must have been friends. There were a lot of people in Monterey when we went.
Later in my years I realized it was a music festival I had remembered. I didn't know at the time, why all the musicians were on a stage, when I was used of them being on the ground next to me. Though I had seen musicians and others on stage before they came into the crowd afterwards.
Earlier that year, I was about 9 months old, I went to the 'human be-in'. So many people. Other children. Other mothers. Other fathers. People who just talked, people who sang. It seemed to be very important to my mothers and fathers. It was so important my mother reminded me of it later. Maybe my memories are hers put on me. Put into me. Osmosis. Some things stay in you. Even if you are too young for anyone to think you should remember.
I do remember a lot of love. I was bombarded with it. Except for when I wasn't. That sounds silly. But it is true. If you are bombarded with love for more than you are not, you remember it. You remember it later when you the pendulum swings the other way.
For most people the pendulum started swing the other way when you get into your teen years. You start talking about your world and your parents, or whom ever is raising you, realized they haven't a clue who you are. All they know is they want that child back. The one that was so easy to love. Who's problems were not so big. when their presents were everywhere. They always knew were the children where. Now a teen. The children are running away from them faster then they can catch up. Until one day they are gone forever.
It came quicker for me. I was far from my teen age years. But I am getting a head of my self.
My mother rejected me. My mothers loved and accepted me. I did not know my father. My biological one. But every man seemed to watch over me and care for me. I had many.
Sometimes other children the hippies had would look at me funny and say things. That was until their mother's caught them. They would make them come over and play with me. Told them it was not right to reject me because of how I looked. I was special because of how I looked. Our flower family had to watch over the special ones. We were as if we were all part of one family when children were around.
I don't remember my mothers names. My mother didn't seem to care what there names were. The mother who got me in the park was the one who called me Papillion, Butterfly. After my birthmark on my face, both sides, she said reminded her of the wings of a butterfly. "It looks like God gave you face paint." She would talk to me as if it made me special. She and the others often painted things on their face. Flowers. Peace signs. Words. What ever they felt like. She and the other mothers would make daisy chains and place the wreath on my head so I could wear flowers the way they did. She would say "Les papillons love playing around the flowers." And I would laugh.
I remember my mothers made me a hat. It is a white little hat. Like a Gilligan's hat. It was my favorite. My mothers cut out felt animals to decorate the hat. They sewed on a turtle, a frog, a tiger and, of course a butterfly. It was too big and would fall down and cover my eyes until I was three years old.
My mothers made it special because my fathers wanted to take me fishing. They had gotten together one night, smoked pot and were talking about their childhoods. They thought back and as they did they all came up with many stories. One story that ran through them all was going fishing with their fathers. They found this to be a common experience children have with their fathers. Each in turn took me fishing.
Since I had just started to walk they did more catching of me then catching fish. By the second father it was a game I was found of. The third father lost a fish when I ran from him. His long yellow hair came around me as he caught me and we stopped. He laughed for 5 minutes. Mostly at his first anger at loosing the fish and second that he waited 2 seconds before he realized I was more important.
The fourth, the oldest, he had dark long hair with a bushy beard. When I ran. he laughed, but didn't follow. I would run back. He would laugh and scoop me up and kiss my check. I would run again. He laughed again. I ran back again. This went on many times. Until the last. I was running away looking back at him to see if he was looking at me. He wasn't. The wind blew off my hat to the edge if the grass. I went to grab it. I tripped and fell in with the hat. I tried ti get up but the rocks were slippery.
I took in a big gulp of water as I tried to scream.
All of a sudden I was lifted up. I thought I was dead. I started throwing up. He was breathing hard. He was wet, too.
"Emma! You scared the life out of me!"
I started breathing air again and stared throwing up again. I was scared. He never yelled at me before. I thought he hated me for running away like my mother hated me for my face.
I looked up from the ground. I looked at his face. I wanted to see the face that loved me without question.
I saw him crying. For the first time in my life. I saw the strongest of my fathers crying. He was the one everyone looked up to when life was too much to bare. The burdens seemed overwhelming. He sorted it all out. A rock of streaghth everyone turned to. The sound of wisdom and sound judgment. The one who really deiced what had happened to me. He was the one who took me to the doctor. He was the one who put into action to raise the money. He is sitting on the ground crying. He has no strength. He has no answer.
I cry too.
I get up and walk over and hug him.
"Emma, I thought I lost you. That thought was too much to bare."
After the crying was done, I went for my hat. It was floating away.
I cried. I loved that hat. This must ave been what he felt. I was his favourite hat.
That is how I thought back then, I was a little child back then, remember.
"Better the hat than you, little one. Your mothers will make you another. " Still I Cried.
He got the fishing pole and tried fishing it out. He failed many times. Even sank it . Some hippie miracle happened and the hook caught it, He dragged it in. When he was done detangling, so happy he got it back for me, the pole fell in. As we watched it float away. He cried. I thought he was sad because he lost the pole and there would be no more fishing trips.
Then he laughed while cradling me in his arms. "Small price , Emma, small fucking price." He smiled and hugged me for a long time as we watched the sun set. "There is a price for everything, Emma, remember that. And some prices you are more than willing to pay. "
When we got back home oldest father told a story about throwing the pole in the water when he realized I was too young for fishing. As he told it I was just the right age for "follow me, Daddy.", which just became his favourite game.
The other fathers were happy not to try to fish with me along. They agreed wholeheartedly. It was settled, no more fishing trips for now.
The Summer of Love was filled with music and flowers. I drank it all in. I would even say I was drunk on it. My mother calling me Ugly could not stop the love I could feel all around me. I knew I was worth my life. I was worth saving. I was worth crying over. After that I never minded if anyone never again cried over the idea of me leaving. It had happened once. It should in every one's life. But once it happened once, it never has to happen again. Otherwise you are just being greedy. And that is a deadly sin, so the preacher has said in church on Sunday.