Nonphenomenal Lineage

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I’d Never Go Back

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I’ve never understood why people speak wistfully and with great longing of their childhoods. Perhaps with time and separation from one’s earliest years, like most things, the beauty of those first memories is romanticized. Forgotten is the struggle, injustice, invalidation, shame, embarrassment and fear experienced in the breaking down and the hammering flat of our feral little temperaments. I for one, couldn’t be happier that I’m no longer a child.

A few days ago I chipped out half of a tooth. The last time I was missing a tooth was about 15 years ago when I was 12. Yet, how suddenly familiar the feeling in my mouth is of a missing tooth, as if I have been transported back over a decade and a half ago to a part of my life when loosing teeth was something expected. This feeling, that has been gone for so long, yet upon its return, seems so familiar and common, is the same feeling I have about my childhood now that I’m living with the Clark family.

These days it’s as if I’m reliving my childhood in the third person. The actions and experiences of the three little people I live with, Mariah, 11, Morgan, 8 and Max, 4 run in concentric circles around me all day as constant reminders of how helpless and impossible childhood is. I’m not saying that I think the kids are unhappy, mistreated or naughty children–they seem generally happy and are all very smart. And it’s not them as individuals, but rather that they’re just kids.

Their frustrations are so much easier to read than the frustration in adults, for they run around with their little hearts always on their sleeves, and they express themselves in sudden, healthy bursts of passion. They don’t yet doubt the unconditional love of their parents, and so they keep throwing themselves up against the walls of their parent’s patience, always checking for weak spots in the perimeter.

When you’re little, days are long, and betimes are early. You have so much damn energy that eight hours of sleep seems like an eternity and you spend the first two and a half hours of bedtime in a state of anxious desire to be up and running around, or coming up with ways to get out of your bedroom. You only get to eat what Mother gives you, or what you can steal out of the cupboard when she’s not looking. And worst of all, you’re constantly reminded of what you can and cannot do.

Living with the Clark kids–all three of them at once, it’s as if I’m being handed a kaleidoscope of all the most difficult parts of my youth, each of their little trials, triumphs and worries are acute reflections of what I was feeling at those stages in my life. These feelings come rushing back sudden and familiar, like the once forgotten feeling of the missing tooth. Childhood may be simple, but I am SO happy that part of my life is done. Because now at least I’m free.

They say that youth is wasted on the young, but given the chance, who would go back to that place?

Currently listening to Madrugada


Written by pocheco

October 15, 2006 at 9:21 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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