A 1960s tale by Patti Isaacs
My husband, Gauss and I were children of the 1960s. Like many other hippified college kids, we dabbled in dope. We lived in sparsely furnished apartments where friends gathered in a circle, seated on the floor, and passed a joint. Pleasantly buzzed and leaning on the wall for support, someone would say, drawing out the words, “Wow, man! I’m wrecked.” A moment later someone else would add, “Yeah…this is great!”
Mickey, one of the household cats, stuck his head into an open bag of Doritos in the middle of the circle. The bag got stuck and Mickey backed slowly around the room, shaking his head to dislodge it, sending us into fits of laughter. Someone reached over to release Mickey from his crinkly foil prison. The cat bolted from the room and we settled down again. It was great indeed.
Not that many years later, Gauss and I became parents. We had given up marijuana before I got pregnant; it was time to be responsible adults. Parenthood would be the next big adventure. Now we sat in our living room on a proper sofa, reading The First Twelve Months of Life, month by month, hanging onto each milestone. Month One: baby will smile! Month Five: baby may start to roll from tummy to back!
When our son was about six months old, his first tooth appeared. Eager for the next chapter in the story of our young son’s life, we ran to the store to buy teething biscuits. They came in a flimsy box that refused to open neatly. After we extracted the first hard, finger-shaped cookie, the box was destroyed. We would need an attractive container that would close tightly.
Gauss held Luca while I got up on the stepstool and examined the contents of my kitchen cupboard. There, among the old Mason jars and Tupperware, was a little flower-painted tin, the perfect size and shape to accommodate teething biscuits. When I brought it down from the high shelf, I realized it was not empty. We opened it—our old stash box!
We gave each other rueful looks as I removed the contents—a cigarette roller and a pack of Zig Zag papers, a tiny brass pipe with a couple of spare screens, an empty Baggie, a book of matches—and tossed them in the garbage. We tipped the box over and a couple of seeds rolled out into the wastebasket. Laughing as I lowered the box into the sink for a thorough cleaning, Gauss and I knew we had officially grown up.
photos courtesy pgordon & patti isaacs