This is a special memory from my own childhood.
I was probably 8 years old the summer that I joined the softball team. It wasn’t a team like the one you think of today, partly because our town was so small. This was one of the summer activity held at The Wright Street Park, which was just down the street from our house. I think anyone could play which was good because I wasn’t one of the best players.
I could actually throw and catch OK. I remember the excitement of getting my very own mitt. I think it was a catcher’s mitt and it was beautiful golden leather. I may have slept with it. I loved the way it smelled and I was so proud of my mitt. I also had my own bat, which was good, as I needed a lot of help with my batting. I had a very bad habit of throwing my bat. I thought of it as “follow through” and when my bat hit the ball I just let go and let the bat keep going! I do remember Daddy telling me I was going to hurt someone although I never did.
Summers in Michigan were hot and humid and we would bring things to drink with us. My mom had just gotten a big round Thermos so I thought it would be great to make Kool-aid and take it with me. I could even share it with my friends. This was over 50 years ago, long before they had presweetened Kool-aid and I can even remember the dented metal measuring cup that I used.
I packed up my Thermos, my glove and my bat and went to play softball – I was very excited about the fact I was bringing Kool-aid to share. I guess I thought that anyone who wanted to could drink out of the white cap that also doubled as a cup. We did that back then. I remember being really warm and sticky and taking the first big gulp of my Kool-aid and immediately spitting it out! I’d made it with salt. I was so humiliated and even worse, I was thirsty!
I’ve always wondered where my mother was while I was making this Kool-aid. I’ve also wondered why she had a huge canister of salt sitting next to the flour canister. Furthermore, where was the sugar?
I really did have the original “Don’t Drink the Kool-aid moment”.