This memory—I wanted to go wading in the creek near our house with the juvenile delinquent who lived next door, but my mother wouldn’t let me. She said something lame about “germs” in the creek. I was 9 or 10 and wouldn’t think about disobeying her, but I was so mad at my mother that I wrote her a note. “You are the meanest most horrible mother in the whole world and I hate you!” I pinned the note to the kitchen curtain above the sink so she would be sure to see it. Then I waited for her reaction. There was none. I waited for my father to get home, certain that she would share the note with him and THEN I’d be in big trouble. Nothing. I waited for days for punishment that never came. When my mother died, I found that pencil scrawled note in a box of keepsakes she had in a drawer. Along with homemade cards, and letters I’d sent home from college and from my days as a new wife and mother was the note. I wonder why she kept it.