A Child Called It: Novel Summary: Chapter 2: Good Times
This chapter recounts the time before the abuse began. In the 1960s Dave and his two brothers were happy. They had what they considered “perfect parents” and lived in a nice home in Daly City, near San Francisco. Dave’s father worked as a fireman, and his mother Catherine loved her children. Dave remembers her as a determined woman who was always in command. She was fanatical about keeping the house clean and was an excellent cook. She would spend hours preparing a meal. One day she took her sons to Chinatown in San Francisco and told them about Chinese culture. When they got home she decorated the dining room with Chinese lanterns and cooked a Chinese meal. They had many pets at home: cats, dogs, fish, and a tortoise, and their mother was especially good at holiday times—Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, each time decorating the house and making the holidays special for the boys. Christmas especially was idyllic: a huge Christmas tree, many gifts, a drive around the neighborhood to see the Christmas lights, drinking egg nog around the fire, with a record of Bing Crosby singing “White Christmas” on the stereo. At other times, Mother would take the boys on day trips such as to Golden Gate Park. In spring there were picnics. In summer there were vacation camping trips. Dave particular enjoyed visits to the Russian River, where he and his brother are taken by their parents. Dave feels safe and protected, especially when his mother holds him tightly.