My mother made me eat the chicken leg until I was too far into my teen years. My sister always got the breast; my brother the wings. Mama ate the thighs and maybe a leg. I had a leg. I wasn’t malnourished, but as good as my Mama’s chicken was, I didn’t like it until I ate the wing or the breast.
In addition to my mother’s unspoken rule about chicken parts, she also restricted me to cheeseburgers when we went to McDonalds. I remember going to Evergreen Plaza with her and having that yellow wrapping paper. The crunch of the paper left me hopeless. Even dissolved. I thought I’d never get a bigger burger.
My dad, on the other hand, handled matters differently. Dad would take me and my brother to McDonald’s, and everytime I’d brighten up. Turning that corner on 76th street near John Harvard where I hated second grade because it wasn’t first grade, McDonald’s was a treat with my dad. We’d come back from Foster Park where we played on the see-saw, did nothing in the sand, or swung or sat or talked about nothing I can recall. Fred-n-Jacks was next to McDonald’s. It was across from Pleasant Grove MB Church, where I went once to hear somebody sing. This McDonald’s was special. My dad let me eat, encouraged me to eat, whatever I wanted.
I wasn’t confident at eight that I could finish a Big Mac, so I’d go for the Quarter Pounder with cheese. My sister called it the Quarter cheese. So was showing off when she said this because she was old enough to work and we weren’t. So what she had a brief stint at a McDonald’s.
My brother and dad with their Big Macs. Me with my quarter cheese. Mama, somewhere else. It was seven, eight, and nine year old bliss.
This is one memory of my early life. It’s a day I spent with my father, Mardell and my brother, Mark. Will you share one memory in bite-size form, a story or event you shared with a person who cared for you, father or not?