Tag : children
Tag : children
My brain is a sieve. I have trouble remembering names, faces, birthday, events… you name it. If it’s happened, I’ve most likely forgotten it. Unless it is a perceived trauma. I have an uncanny ability to recall, in detail, all slights, injuries, embarrassments, losses, etc. I am exaggerating ONLY SLIGHTLY.
So, when I saw today’s #reverb10 prompt, I was in a quandary.
Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail. (via @aliedwards)
Do I remember ANY MOMENTS from this past year, much less those during which I felt most alive?
“…Tonight while we played tag for five minutes in the yard
Just for a moment, I caught you off guard…”
– Harry Chapin, “Tangled Up Puppet”
My dad used to sit on the edge of my bed at night and sing songs to me when I was a child – well, really, I insisted he do it until I graduated from high school and moved away from home. We were big on ritual in my house. Harry Chapin’s “Tangled Up Puppet” was always one of my favorites. And this past weekend, I recalled the above lyric as I found myself drenched in a moment during which I felt joyously and sublimely alive…
It was 4 o’clock on a Sunday. The air was cold and sharp, solely responsible for reminding me that it is winter even in Los Angeles. And I was visiting family in their new home.
They aren’t blood relatives – this woman, her husband and their 3-year-old son. They are family by choice. My love for them, and theirs for me, has been earned and nurtured without the weight of obligation or ancestral baggage threatening to rend the connections. The Kid has stolen my heart.
I was wearing sweatpants and a hoodie, an outfit that used to be my mainstay but has now become a sweet weekend treat – a byproduct of office-based employment. My wardrobe choice for the day was convenient since I found myself rolling around in the grass of my friends’ new front yard, growling and wrestling and laughing with the Kid.
I don’t know the mechanics behind how having a three-year-old stand on one’s stomach and collapse into one’s embrace while battling a fit of giggles in order to emit a high-pitched roar in one’s face makes life crystallize in heightened relief.
I don’t care.
All I know is, those five minutes in the yard were my moment.
What was your moment?
And words? Oh HELL YES they can hurt me. Particularly when they come from the mouth of an angelic 3-year-old. Especially when the chosen words are…
“I DON’T LIKE YOU.”
Seriously. It’s a near-fatal knife blow to the back, through the heart, down and back up the spine, dinging every rib to finally make mince meat of the brain.
I know I have 38 years on a three-year-old. I know I’m supposed to be a rational human being, one who has worked through all my childhood issues, one who is loving and empathetic and above petty tantrums, one who knows that young children are simply testing boundaries and have yet to discover the use of their middle finger for anything but retrieving hardened snot from their noses. But…
I may never recover from the emotional devastation wrought by a well-timed, “I don’t like you.” It is far more effective than an adult, “FUCK OFF.” And there is no appropriate come-back.
I am (just) stable enough to refrain from a sharp, “Well, I don’t like you either, so there.” But I did think for a few minutes that it would take up permanent residence on the tip of my tongue.
I should be rewarded for my control. With chocolate. And maybe a stuffed animal.
Of course, the Kid got over the whole drama within five (or fifteen) minutes. I, on the other hand, may be truly traumatized by his tantrum.
Are we friends again? Are we? Are we?