Tuesday, February 3rd, 2004 • 1 Comment on Carrying On
I don’t have a lot of fond childhood memories of my family. Friends, sure. School, yes. Summer time, definitely. Just not many warm, fuzzy, feel-good family memories. My parents weren’t warm, fuzzy, feel-good people. It wasn’t an awful childhood, but it left a lot to be desired.
The occasional happy childhood memory makes me smile. It also makes me sad. I wish there had been more of those good memories, more positive moments to hang on to when being an adult feels like too much work. Unfortunately, the bad overshadows the good most of the time. But, you grow up and you move on and you don’t worry about it too much. It is what it is. I envy people whose memories of childhood are filled with love and comfort. That’s a wonderful thing, the kind of security that comes from getting a good start in the world.
I was thinking today about how we used to go to my grandmother’s house for Sunday dinner. That was not a warm, fuzzy, feel-good experience. More like peace talks between enemy nations that always ended in a shaky stand-off until the next Sunday. The trip to grandma’s set the tone for the evening—my brother and me in the back seat, fighting; my parents in the front seat, fighting. Pretty family picture.
On the way home, though, it was different. Dark, quiet, miles of highway and nothing to do but curl up and go to sleep. I can remember pulling into our driveway some Sunday nights and faking being asleep so I wouldn’t have to get out and walk. More often than not, I’d get a nudge and a terse order to get in the house and go to bed if I was so tired. But once in awhile, my pretend sleeping was convincing enough that I was left alone and my father carried me in the house.
It’s really not much of a memory—my father opening the car door and shifting my not-so-sleeping body into his arms and carrying me to my bedroom. Hardly something I should remember with such joy. But it was nice, those few moments between the car and my bed when I didn’t have to do anything for myself. Nice not having to worry about putting one foot in front of the other. Nice to be carried, though I was capable of walking. Nice to be taken care of.
I guess I’m thinking about that memory because I’ve been feeling so rundown the past few days and I wouldn’t mind letting someone else take care of me. It would be nice to be carried, just for a little while. (I mean that figuratively, of course. I wouldn’t want anyone to throw their back out.)
Sometimes being sick is a temporary break from the world, a time to be alone and slow down and recharge. And sometimes it’s just a reminder that I’m an adult and I have to take care of myself.