Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Club from the Mom

   There are five of us in the Bosom Bottom Buddy Club. We are first cousins and the children of identical twin sisters. The odd thing about being daughters of identical twins is that genetically speaking, we are all half-sisters. The cousins have different fathers but the same genetic mothers. It makes for a weird confluence of relationship and heredity. Ours is an exclusive club, and we have never been tempted in bring in any other initiates. I find it hard to believe that the Bosom Bottom Buddy Club has been around for nearly 50 years. I am not certain when we named ourselves officially, but it was likely about the time that I and my cousin turned six or seven. The name we chose was definitely scandalous to us at the time (bosoms and bottoms were not then topics of general discussion among the populace) and therefore worthy of the secrecy and exclusivity with which we viewed ourselves. Instead of a secret handshake or password, we devised a special greeting: standing side-by-side in pairs, we would butt chests, then bottoms, and as a finale, throw our arms around one another to conclude with a big bear hug.
   Our official meeting place, our erstwhile clubhouse, was an old bird coop at the back of my grandmother's house in Samson, Alabama. While in reality it was was little more than a dilapidated wooden shed, it certainly seemed like the Taj Mahal to us. The shed had a door and two glass paned windows, and the former chicken yard was bordered by a fence that even boasted a gate. The ritual of occupancy demanded that the entire membership be present before one member could enter. Thus it was with great impatience that my sisters and I would await the arrival of our cousins each year. The five of us would be up and outside at dawn's light, and we would play until we were called for lunch and then return to our hideout until we were called again for supper. Lest I give the impression that all was harmonious, 'tis true that we argued considerably among ourselves at times (most usually over the assignment of duties), but I somehow remember that despite our squabbles, we had a deep and abiding joy in that place. We treasured our independence, our protection from what we perceived to be our parents' prying eyes, yet we almost always closely followed the rules they had devised for us. In our private sanctuary, we were as free as only children can be. Sticks became arrows in the hands of a fearless warrior. A piece of rope became the reins for a great steed. The tall magnolia was a lookout's post for an army fort surrounded by marauding Indians. The hours slipped away from us even as the memories grew. I did not know then what a treasure I was amassing for myself.
    The clubhouse we claimed and made our own is there no longer. The winds of change have driven us from that distant shore in the picture above to different cities and different states. We are no longer girls, but women grown and even middle-aged. Yet the tie that binds is still blessed. It is a bond that has endured the passage of time and the warp and woof of life.
    Where have the years gone? They melt away into nothing when I remember how we laughed with delight over the smallest of things and how we can still chuckle and even howl when we get together. When sorrow slept outside the doors of our lives, our friendship, laughter and love have helped each of us to keep the darkness at bay. It was an honor to be with each of you this fall when we laid our dear grandmother to rest. She loved family, and she loved each one of us. As the days pass, I am thankful for the legacy that she has imparted to each of us. The scriptures remind us to owe no man anything except the debt of love. If that is true, then we owe one another and certainly her a great deal. My cousins, my sisters, my friends. I look forward to renewing our ties, our love, and our laughter in April. See you then!

1 comment :

  1. Can't wait to "meet again" in April! We are soooo blessed to have so many wonderful memories with our cousins. I cherish each one! I always thought "others" went on vacations and all we ever did was go to "the beach house" and our grandmother's house! Oh how I do cherish those memories now! God is so good to us!


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