“There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.”

The sun is a blur behind light gray clouds. It gives the day some light but provides no heat and only accentuates the bare branches of the tall oak tree behind my deck. I need to go out later, and I’m dreading the cold. Even in the house I’m layered.

The bird feeders are empty, and I miss my birds.  Since my surgery, I haven’t been as faithful in filling them but that ends today. I’ll go out as soon as I finish here as a bit of snow is coming, and I’ll feel guilty if I  see birds checking empty feeders.

My life has had a different symmetry since the surgery. I seldom picked up a book to read; every night I woke up several times because of the pain, and I didn’t go out unless someone drove me. That has begun to change. I finished a book yesterday, drove my car and was up at 9 yesterday having slept through the night. Slowly my life is returning to normal.

When I was a kid, I recognized it when I got taller. I used to compare my height to my mother’s and couldn’t wait until I was taller than she was. It was like a kid’s one-upmanship. It didn’t change the hierarchy, but I felt a bit superior anyway. The first change of any consequence was puberty. It wasn’t my favorite. All of a sudden my childhood was vanishing.

When it finally disappeared, I didn’t notice.

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10 Comments on ““There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.””

  1. olof1 Says:

    Yes surgery does that to us, but thankfully we can change back to normal again when the worst is over 🙂

    I did wonder how much seeds the birds really could eat, but then I discovered that a doe (that more or less is living in my garden) robed the feeders during the night 🙂 🙂 🙂

    I started to grow rather late so I always thought I was going to stay short for the rest of my life. But then suddenly I started to grow like crazy and became the tallest person in the family 🙂 I got a strange feeling of joy when I got higher than my next oldest brother 🙂 The fun thing is that I started to grow again after I was 20! I grew one whole inch in less than a month. I wouldn´t have minded to grow a couple more inches 🙂 🙂

    Have a great day now!
    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      I’m feeling great today for having been out twice yesterday. The night wasn’t the best, but it was better.

      It was darn cold out there filling the feeders. Despite frozen gingers, I even stayed out and reconnected my palm tree and flamingo.

      I’m not super tall but in my mother’s family I am. Some are under 5 feet tall.

  2. Bob Says:

    Glad to hear that you are able to return to your normal activities if just on a limited basis.

    I realized at age 13 that I was growing up when I was allowed to travel around NYC on the subway by myself. With a dollar and a half in my pocket the city was my oyster. I could buy round trip carfare for thirty cents, visit all the museums for free, eat a frankfurter and beans at the Horn and Hardart automat for fifty cents and buy a paperback book to read on the train trip home for twenty five cents.

    You know you are Italian when you are taller than your grandmother at age seven.

    • katry Says:

      Thanks, Bob
      I was excited to be out and driving my new car.

      It was when I was 14 that we used to hang around Harvard Square (my high school wasn’t in my hometown but in Arlington, close to Cambridge. It was a dime each way on the T). That was in the early 60’s when Harvard Square was still amazing and filled with the most original stores and restaurants. Musicians played mostly guitars and sang by the kiosk, now gone. We’d go to the Orson Wells movie theater, the Harvard Coop,and the museum. It was an adventure, an exploration, and I loved it.

      My Italian uncle was only about a foot taller than his mother, and they were both short.

  3. Zoey & Me Says:

    I’ve extended my childhood, keep the child’s mentality and you can’t miss growing younger. You sound much better today with lots of hopefull words about getting around, things return to the norm. We can start checking the Coffee daily again, I hope. But if you still have problems that’s OK too. Be glad you’re not up in Sweden with Christer. His storm looks mightily like the Arctic. I missed most of the High School dances because I couldn’t dance and was afraid to be embarassed by all the girls I knew. None volunteered to teach me and guys? Forget it. They didn’t know how to dance either. I think that was a huge problem for us growing up in the teen years. Thank God for McDonalds and the other drive ins.

    • katry Says:

      Z&Me,
      I carry my childhood along with me, and it surfaces often, and I’m always glad to see it.

      I do hope to write more frequently. If I still had my laptop, I would publish every day as the desk chair isn’t great for me right now so I limit sitting there. I’m hoping to get a Mac next week.

      I am feeling better, and it was so sudden I’m still getting used to it. Now if the limp disappeared I’d be happy.

  4. Rick OzTown Says:

    “All of a sudden my childhood was vanishing.”

    That’s why I hold onto Frisbee flinging. All day to play; only have to come inside when tired; and someone to play with. What’s not to like about THAT?

    I realize you are long past that event. But even shreds and tatters of childhood is better than having none at all left. Moments of clear, unequivocal wonder, shared equally with joy equals fun. There are many ways to slice it, but that’s one of the best.

    Hang in there and revel in each step of recovery. Stuff the feeders; drive the car; sleep till you wake up. It all does you good.

    Pax,
    Rick

    • katry Says:

      Rick,
      My childhood is gone, but I don’t need it to feel and see wonder because I think wonder always stays part of the spirit and is not limited to childhood.

      My friends and I play games like Sorry and enjoy it in the same way we did as kids, only our language has changed when a man gets sent back to start.

      You’re right! Last night I was woken up with pain in my leg and foot, but I moved around and went back to sleep. That’s progress. Today I drove to the store and bought a few special groceries to keep my spirit alive.

  5. Hedley Says:

    I took for EVER to get taller and Debbie Wilson grew early…sigh


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