I remember standing on the foot of my bed, my mother next to me, and looking out the window and discovering that the moon had followed us to our new house. I can hear my voice excitedly reporting the news to my mother. According to her, I said, "Look mom, the moon found us!" But I don't entirely remember. I was three.
I remember bits and pieces of my life before then. I can picture the duplex we lived in, the rooms inside. I have a vivid image of the underneath of our dining room table and the rungs of my crib and the mellow brownish yellow of the wall. But most of what's in my head is fuzzy. I vaguely recall getting kissed by my younger cousin at the foot of the stairs, but I think it is really just because someone photographed it. I can imagine lying naked on top of the dining room table and being mesmerized by the lights on the chandelier but only because my parents like to tell that story too, the one how they had read it in a book somewhere that light therapy was good for babies.
So you wonder when the first one is going to happen to your child. You know? Will you realize it at the time, or will it only be discovered after years have gone by? Will it be a happy one? You can only hope. Will it be a trauma of some sort? Who knows? Maybe it will be both.
Chad and Todd, my brother inlaws, and me and Anna Rose, well all of us related to the Simpson side of the family, were on vacation in the Florida Keys the first week of January. But it was us and Anna Rose when we happened to see this green iguana hanging out by the cabana. At that point we didn't know much about iguanas, still don't. I have learned since that iguanas are not indigenous to Florida. They began there as pets, and as they grew too large for their cages, their owners had started releasing them into the wild. As it turns out, iguanas really do well in Florida. Really well. I think they are the state rat. Some, like the one pictured here, were huge. This guy was easily six feet long counting his tail. The green one on our rental property was about half that size.
So anyway, we decided to hunt this greeny like the Crocodile Hunter, not really knowing what we would do if we actually caught her, but we figured the chances of a successful nabbing so slim that it was fun to try. Chad took the lead (and the video camera). Todd, Anna Rose (in my arms) and I followed. In a few seconds we had the little dinosaur "surrounded." If she came my direction, I would be running not grabbing. Suddenly, the creature leapt, and I don't know if it was on purpose or not but she landed smack dab on the slippery white deck of our boat. The next thing I know the reptile is frantically thrashing around trying to get a foot hold. All three of us men are screaming like little girls. And my heart is pounding at the realization that we are going to have really catch her now. The thing was helpless. Finally, and thank God, the iguana managed to super-reptilianly jump overboard on her own.
And immediately and now, a month later, every time Anna Rose sees a picture of a boat or hears someone mention the word, A-Ro says "iguana!" (well her version, which is simply sticking her tongue in and out). Sometimes the memory will just hit her, and out of the blue she'll exclaim: "Boap!" and there it goes, her tongue, in and out, in and out. The scene is etched on her spongy brain. That hilarious trauma. Will it be the one? That first one? I guess, only time will tell.