Monday, March 12, 2012

Abby Mumford Tackles WFTF Spring Essay Prompt

As many of you fun followers know, I am one of a dozen writers who contributed essays to the anthology WRITE FOR THE FIGHT.  As such, the peeps at Booktrope and us authors thought it would be fun to do a weekly blog fest beginning today.  So, for the next six weeks or so, we shall be inviting guests posts or waxing poetic about how we came to be involved with WRITE FOR THE FIGHT.

Since I like to be first for just about everything, I browbeat respectfully requested that my blog buddy, Book Hungry club sista, and all-around Twitter pal, Abby Mumford help me out and answer the Spring Essay question of:

What do you miss about being five years old?

So, let's welcome her to the podium.  **Abby steps up to the mike, smiles winningly to the crowd**

My Twitter pal, Miss Karla Nellenbach, has some essays in the NOW available Nook Book, WRITE FOR THE FIGHT (co-authored by Tess Hardwick and Tracey M. Hansen) *round of applause* and in order to properly promote the awesomeness of the book, she asked me to respond to one of the four seasonal essay prompts.

How could I say anything but yes when she framed the request in an email entitled “Hey Biotch…favor?” I mean, the eloquence just dripped. J

After reading through the four seasonal essay questions (no, I’m not going to tell you what those other ones are, you’ll have to purchase the book to find out!), I gave it some thought and it was the spring essay that appealed most to me. Without further ado, here’s the question and my own take on it.
What do you miss about being 5 years old?
When I was 5, I was just starting Kindergarten. Oh, how grown up I felt getting to ride the school bus, wearing a backpack, doing the fluoride rinse, putting on a Christmas show for our parents, and being picked to take attendance, but the coolest part about going to school? I learned to read, which pretty much changed the course of my life.

I went from making up my own stories (which usually centered around horses, even though I’d never even been around one yet) to having zillions more possibilities in front of me, which is to say not that my daydreams stopped, but rather, exploded. The words I could now read and the gorgeous pictures next to them expanded my horizons from playgrounds to planets, from tea parties to royal balls, from chicken nuggets to tacos, from horses to unicorns. I now understood why my older sister always carried a book around with her. And my mom. And my dad.

I still didn’t know why my brother always had a basketball with him.

I could now stop pestering my older siblings to play with me and/or read to me because I could do it all on my own. (I’m sure this was more of a relief for them than me because less time with me meant less time to get on my bad side and less chances I’d bite them. Hey, they had height and weight on me. A girl’s work with what she’s got. It just so happened my incisors were one of my strengths.) Of course, there were other reasons why I’d follow them around (they were cool and funny and brave), but learning how to read granted me a sense of independence I hadn’t ever experienced before.

It gave my mind wings in the most extraordinary of ways. And anything that made me lighter was helpful in the fight to carry a back pack larger than me to school.

The year I was five, I was starting to make sense of the world around me, but more importantly, of the worlds even bigger than that -- the worlds I could create with my imagination. I’ll admit, I do miss having the time to do nothing other than determine what shapes the clouds are and that peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were considered a gourmet meal and I really really miss nap time, but other than that, there’s not much to miss because age 5 was the beginning of so many wonderful things.

Little did I know what age 6 held for me (aka, learning how to ride a bike.)

Congrats to Karla and all the other authors with essays in WRITE FOR THE FIGHT!


  1. How cool! Love the essay, Abby. Especially: "It just so happened my incisors were one of my strengths."

  2. The learning to read thing was the best part of life! That changed EVERYTHING!

  3. @linda, it's true. i played dirty as a kid. heh.

    @patty, it was fun to think about the time before i could read because learning how to do that really did change the course of my life!

  4. What a lovely take on the prompt and I adore the way you two support each other!

  5. @galit Thank you! This was such fun to write, and I'm so proud of Karla! I was thrilled to help participate.


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