Some kids are scared of clowns. Some adults find them creepy. At the ripe young age of 6, I thought clowns were amazing. Especially since I knew one. In real life.
Her name was Ike, and she was my adopted Kansas grandma’s sister. I found her incredibly entertaining. When Mom asked what I’d like to do for my birthday, it wasn’t a challenge to agree on our friend Ike.
If my memory serves me well, this was the summer after we started homeschooling. I invited my school friends (who I hoped still remembered me even though I wasn’t at school for a whole quarter), and suddenly, it was a party.
The morning of the party came. I remember feeling the buzz of excitement inside me. As a young child with profound lack of patience, I sequestered myself to my favorite lookout point – the guest room closet window, which looked over the street. After what seemed like forever, Ike’s car drove up. I ran downstairs and outside. Poor Ike didn’t even know what was coming her way. In my excitement, I probably didn’t give her any space whatsoever.
What I do remember though is that she showed me many secrets. I loved secrets. It made me feel special to get the insider information (and it oddly enough still does). She showed me how clowns have secret shoes that make their feet look huge and silly. They fit right over her normal shoes! I couldn’t believe it. She showed me her outfit and all of the goodies she brought. I was enthralled, to say the least.
My friends started showing up. I was beaming with pride. I, Joy Bork, a now 6-year-old, had my own clown friend. We played games outside, danced in circles. I saw my neighbors out back and had to let them know (via screaming) that I had a clown, and she’s my clown. I loved that birthday. And it was because of my friend Ike.