Sunday, September 8, 2013

My Sunshine

Both of my parents are English majors.They corrected my sister and me when our grammar was less than satisfactory. They did keep in mind our age and how much we could understand at the time; for this I am thankful. However, that does not mean that we did not have our share of grammar blunders or misunderstandings.

Sometimes my mother would put me on her lap and wrap her arms around me, singing "You Are My Sunshine". I'd lean my head on her chest and listen, picturing images of clouds, sky, and rain.

"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are grey. You'll never know, dear, how much I love you. Please don't take my sunshine away."

This was all fine and dandy. I thought it was a lovely song, and half of the time I had no problem. It was when she sang the second verse that I hated.

"The other night, dear, while I was sleeping, I dreamt I held you in my arms. When I awoke, dear, I was mistaken, and I hung my head and cried."

I tried to show that I didn't like it. I wouldn't sing along. I held very still. If she ever did pick up on those signals, she probably thought that I didn't like it because it says she cried. A grave mistake. You see, I didn't know the difference between hung and hanged. Every time my mother sang about bending down her head and crying, I pictured her in the closet held up by a coat hanger around her neck, dead.

I joke around with my mom about having been traumatized by grammar now, but, truthfully, it really has helped me to remember which is which. Grammar is truly important in this world of communication.

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