Connect the dots

Some memories are yours, and others are pieced together from a family member telling you their memory of something you did at a young age.

I was at my grandma’s house, and she was attempting to entertain me, perhaps my parents were out. She asked if I knew how to play the connect the dots game. When you’re young, your parents and teachers generally know what you’re capable of, but someone a bit more removed in age, who only interacts with you a couple times each year, has a less clear idea of your intellect.

I remember her asking, and I remember thinking I didn’t know what game she was talking about, and also, connecting dots sounded a bit boring. But I just pretended I knew what she was talking about, something I still do to this day, to avoid admitting ignorance.

She said I could start.

When she would tell the story, she’d say that this is the moment she got concerned. I wasn’t lining up the dots at all; in fact, they were all over the place. I handed her the paper, and now it was her turn to connect the dots or maybe we took turns, but once all the lines were drawn, it turned out that it was … a pig!

She loved telling this story. Nobody tells it now, because my parents didn’t witness it, so it doesn’t make much sense for them to tell it, and I don’t tell it, because it’s not as funny from my perspective. And I break into tears when I remember that we don’t get to hear this story anymore, like a piece of my past is fading to black.