Thursday, November 19, 2009

Home Sweet Unsterile Home

I'm pleased to report that my little vacation stay at the hospital ended on Tuesday, though germ-wise the hospital was probably a bit safer than my home. Both hubby and son had developed sore throats and coughs during my absence. Hubby was banished to a spare bedroom, and son was whisked away to a neighbors. (Don't worry, he's been allowed back home.) The whole fam has been pumping themselves with vitamins. And my immune system is not nearly as fragile as it was before. So I'm just trying to relax, though the hand sanitizer is never far.

I was just reading a blog entry about first memories, written by a beautiful friend of mine. (Her blog is new and fascinating:

She poses the question of why our brains lock on certain events in our early years. What is it that makes one particular moment stand out above other moments? If we look at our first few very early memories, they most likely point to something that is of value to us as adults, perhaps help us learn a little about ourselves. She gives the example of a relative whose first memory is running to the aid of a little sister who has skinned her knee--and the nurturing that women has done in her adult life. My friend remembers watching her dad mow the lawn, and even as a 3-year-old noticing the careful, perfect job he was doing. She became an over-achiever who strives a little too hard for perfection.

This made me think back to my own first memories. There are three that stand out as most vivid. In the first, I was about four, playing at the bottom of a large hole behind our house. It was about the size of a swimming pool, and had been dug then abandoned by the city for some industrial reason. My mother hated that hole. I thought it was the best thing ever. On this particular day a friend and I were playing with trucks at the bottom (lady-like I know) when some "big" kids (they must have been 7 or 8) came by, looked down at us from the edge, and told us we weren't allowed to be down there. I remember standing up, squinting up at them with my hands placed firmly on my hips, and telling them that this was "our" hole and we could do anything we wanted with it. They shrugged and went on their way. I thought I was the toughest thing ever. I'm not sure what they means about me today. Except that people keep calling me tough and I always think they don't know what they're talking about because really I mostly feel scared to death about all this.

In the next, I'm 3 or 4 and my big brother (a teenager) has just arrived home after a long absence. He has swept me up and is swinging me in circles. I just remember feeling so loved and happy.

The last is with that same brother and a bunch of his friends at a party in our basement. There is loud music. And beads. Lots of beads. This was the sixties, in a suburb just outside of San Francisco. I didn't realize at the time that they were probably stoned. (Still love ya, bro. Sorry Mom if you're hearing about this for the first time.) I was about 4, wearing flowered bell-bottom pants that were the coolest thing ever, and dancing atop a card table. I totally believed them when they said I was on the table because my dancing was so amazing. The friends circled the table, dancing in their swinging hippie way, and one-by-one placed a strand of beads around my neck.

It's that memory that brings me back to my current circumstance. You have me doing my best to keep dancing, while being encircled with both drugs and a huge out-pouring of love.

As far as the analysis? I'll let you do that one.

1 comment:

Katie Parker said...

Huh. I think my earliest memory is of my parents painting our house, but I only remember the roller brush. I like your memory of the hippies putting beads on you while you danced--that must've really been something. Here's keeping you surrounded by love!