“Ramona, clean up your room!” Mrs. Quimby raised her voice.
from: Ramona Quimby, Age 8
by: Beverly Cleary
My older sister and I shared a bedroom when we were growing up. The room was large and we each had our own closet. We each had drawers in the dresser, and we each had our own nightstand. My sister was (she still is) neat. I was not. My philosophy went something like this:
- Why should I hang up my dress, skirt, jacket... when I’ll just have to un-hang it the next time I want to wear it?
- It’s easier to match up a pair of socks when I can see all my choices.
- Whoever has so much extra time that they actually fold their underwear?
My sister and I learned how to negotiate and compromise and problem-solve. We “drew” a masking tape line right down the center of our room. My stuff wasn’t allowed on her side. I can’t remember what happened if something strayed. It probably involved paying her quarters or washing the dishes.
When we were growing up we had a plan. My older sister and I would live right next door to each other. She’d clean my house and I’d cook all her meals. That didn’t work out so well. But 50 miles isn’t really *that* far.
Beverly Cleary’s stories about Ramona and her big sister Beezus rang true for me. My sister knew everything. Her friends were cool. She wore all the right clothes.
Sometimes it was a pain being the little sister, though!
Recently, when Mrs. Cleary was asked how she wrote about children so well, she answered that she's always thought like a kid — and she has very clear memories of her own childhood. "I'm just lucky," she told NPR in 2006. "I do have very clear memories of childhood. I find that many people don't, but I'm just very fortunate that I have that kind of memory." http://www.npr.org/2016/04/11/473558659/beverly-cleary-is-turning-100-but-she-has-always-thought-like-a-kid
Happy 100th Birthday, Beverly Clearly. Thank you for helping me remember what it’s like to be a child. --stay curious!