When I was about six years old, I got shot off a teeter totter by another girl in a park in Madrid. I remember this distinctly. I was nicely dressed (in what can only be described as a Partridge Family red jumper with a ruffled blouse, white tights and white patent-leather Mary Janes) and had just finished having my picture taken for my grandmother’s Christmas card. Because I’d been so “good” about the whole thing (i.e., I hadn’t complained nearly as much about posing after my grandmother had pinched my thigh and glared at me,) I was allowed to play with the other kids while still dressed in these nice duds.
And then I flew.
My experience of a seesaw or teeter totter was, up until that day, very gentle…because I was so slight (and considered to be a fragile and sickly child, something I never quite understood,) the person on the other side would be very cautious about their movements, always making sure there was no propelling involved. So my flight, my being shot off from the teeter totter was at once scary and exciting. I hit my head, got a nice bump, was coddled to an intolerable extreme, but wanted to go back and play with the same girl…
I was not allowed to…in fact, the next time I went to that park, I was closely watched by every relative who traveled with me.
Did they not know about the Tarzan games? Did they not know about sliding down the banister after applying lard to it? Did they not realize that, in spite of their opinion, I was pretty sturdy and willing to be shaken, rattled, rolled and scared??? I would say apparently not, but I know that at least one of my aunts did, and hence the monologues I’d overhear in the kitchen…about how there will be plenty of time to be jolted by life and how I’d learn to enjoy not being jolted.
The year of our Lord 2010 jolted me (us) quite badly, and now I’m nicely settled. We are not quite in the doldrums, but there is little to report by way of chaos. Mostly, and perhaps because I seem to crave jolting, it is self-inflicted chaos. J is settling nicely into not being in a state of constant crisis, and he is slowly letting go of the emotional crutches that impeded his progress while latching on more tightly to others.
I figured I’d tell you that. Life is interesting, but not necessarily interesting enough for the rest of the world. And, oddly enough, it’s not even like we’re stalled or anything…
1) We are now working on teaching J to write his name in smaller spaces because he will soon (when he’s 18) need a checking account into which his disability checks will go. He will need to pay for things and save receipts for the annual review.
2) J seems to be leading a hum-along of The Conga on the bus in the mornings. I have visions of Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis in Some Like It Hot, but I don’t quite know why.
3) J now offers food from his tray to anyone sitting at his table, and he’s eating less. It’s not that he doesn’t have an appetite because he goes at his meals with gusto, but he seems to be more inclined to be “nice” and “share” than he used to be.
4) Raggedy Ann is left on his bed every morning with an honor guard of boxing gloves. Even the plastic tub where the gloves used to sit at the foot of the stairs has been removed.
See? Nothing major going on…just life in general…a steady stream…
Maybe it will rain profusely soon and we’ll get hit with a sudden rush of water, but for now…no…not at all…