Memories of a Milltown Girl”

 “Think Your Parents Were Tough?”             

 Think again…

The lives of kids of a town principal and the town’s ministers are equally challenging. Since the parents are expected to set a high standard for the community, their kids are expected to be the embodiment of that standard.

Water balloons out the window of the Washington hotel don’t qualify as being “the embodiment.”

Let me explain: First off, I seldom got any time away from my parents because if, as a youngster, I went on a field trip for West Warwick High School (then known as John F. Deering High School), my Mom and Dad went on that trip, too, as chaperones. They accompanied me on the highlight of my senior year–the field trip to our nation’s capital. We kids and our chaperones were in Washington, DC for 5 days, sharing rooms with whomever we chose. I bunked in with 2 other classmates. On that class trip, we went to all the monuments and the Smithsonian Institute.

Upon arrival, at our hotel, we students began pulling out our packs of cigarettes (I think I was smoking Salem cigarettes then) to smoke in our room, tho’ we’d been warned: It was expressly forbidden.

Next, we collected near the windows where one of us had the grand idea to begin dropping water balloons out the window to the pavement below, onto sidewalk pedestrians. Our wet targets angrily reported us to the front desk.

Thereupon, an inspection was launched, meaning my mother came in and began interrogating us. We had to open windows to fan out the smoky air before we let her in.

She asked each of us if we’d partaken in that rude behavior. We stonily resisted.

Finally, one of our party cracked and fessed up, admitting to the boorishly juvenile behavior. This insured a Domino effect of confession, while I cursed inwardly at their weakness.

So, when other students were beginning to assert themselves in more independent way, my siblings and I were tethered to our parents, even during the time other adolescents enjoyed a separation from their families—school time.

Field trips and class trips always insured we have even more intense “together time.” We even started every school day in our father’s car as he drove us to the high school where he was principal.

I wouldn’t enjoy real freedom until I went to and lived at college, but then, I abused the privilege by not even going to class, on many occasions. I just wasn’t used to self-discipline, regarding my own behavior.

That would come….

….But I’d have to learn the necessity for such the hard way.

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