Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Childhood Never Begun

Childhood Never Began

They say that as you get older, the memories of the past get clearer than the present and you tend to live in them. A friend on Facebook buried her mother today and was saying how much she would miss her. She doesn't know how lucky she is. She will miss her.
I decided to lay back see what I remembered of the two people who raised me or at least kept me fed and clothed most of the time. I found I had two memories I could actually recount and only two. Oh, I remember countries and places you will probably never have the opportunity to see and people you will only know from history books that haven't been rewritten, bending down and shaking my small hand. Oh, and I remember the pity in their eyes I didn't understand then because all children believe their parents....
Perhaps that pity is best explained in the one encounter I remember with my aunt's husband who was Native America, or just Indian back then. He brought me some antique doll furniture to play with as my only toys were an old rag doll and some cheap Indian dolls they sold in gas stations in the Southwest for the tourists to take home and thrown away. I remember him telling me to take good care of the little chairs and table as they were very old and my mother saying I would never break anything I was given, I knew better. The thing she gave birth to knew better than to make noise, break anything or do anything she wasn't told to do.
My two memories of my parents are pretty dismal so you might want to stop reading.
When I was around 1 and a half, I had an old bottle with a very old nipple. Back then the nipples on baby bottles were made of rubber and they tasted like an old tire and smelled like one, too. This one was so old that the taste and odor had long leeched out of it. It was was stained and had a hole in the end making it more a straw than a nipple but it kept me from spilling anything which was against the rules and would be punished. I loved it and my mother hated it. She wanted a new and pretty nipple on the bottle. I remember laying in my crib in the other room and seeing her (I could astral project very well) taking the old nipple and a pair of old black kitchen scissors and cutting it into tiny little pieces. First she cut them sideways and then she took the little circles and cut them into two pieces and then four. I was screaming and then she brought me the new bottle with the new nipple. I threw it and it hit the ceiling corner diagonally opposite my crib shattering it into more pieces than she had cut the nipple into and covering all my crib in milk and glass. Baby bottles were made of glass back then. It took a while for the nanny they hired to get me to drink or eat anything.
My memory of my father is from around 6 when I was trying to hug him and he was “accidentally” burning me with his cigarette to get me to go away.
And thus my memories are of people and places I will never see again. I seldom if ever think of my parents unless it is in reference to an event or place we went. They are dead and as useless as a used tissue already thrown out in the garbage. Perhaps the tissue is more useful, it can be mulched.
So my friends, you might want to consider what your children are going to remember of you.
There is a big difference of being proud of someone as they always were of me and taking pride in someone's accomplishments. One is just jealousy in sheep's clothing and the other is love of the person.

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