Thursday, July 07, 2005

When I was not so very much past two years old I cornered my mother in the backyard of the bungalow house she and my father somehow managed to purchase on the salary of a teacher and co-owner of a spiritual bookstore. My mother always said that I was an incredible small child because I mastered the skills of language long before any other toddler near my age. At daycare I would be over carrying on a conversation with the adults while other children were learning the intricaices of the idea that when you pull the cord, the voice tells you, "the cow goes moooooo." So it was my first leap ahead, it was my first taste of isolation from my peers and it is the curse of why any conversation I have in my head or any book I read cannot proceed any faster than I might be able to say it out loud.

And all afternoon that morning the gears had been churning inside my head. miniature gears that churned out questions like "how does a motorcycle go" and "how does my tansformer make sparks shoot out?" But that day they had been working on a greater problem. I could lie and tell you I remembered what exactly I was thinking but a grown up can never really understand a kids brain even if it is your own younger self. I'd give a million dollars to go back to that day to sit down and have a good long talk with my two-year old self.


She didn't respond.



I have a question.

She put down her hand trowel and wiped her forehead " What is it honey?"

What's this life about?

She cocked her head sideways for a moment. "what was that?"

What's this life about?

At that point my mother realized she had heard me correctly. I hadn't been to school. I hadn't had a job or loved or lost or killed or drugged or traveled.

"Well..." She grinned and paused. "let me think about that for a minute." My two-year-old self got bored of waiting so I walked over to the swing and started to play. The swing was attached to the tree at only one spot so it swung forward and back and spun around all at once. A few moments later my mother walked over and laid it on me. She could have said, "money and power" or "helping as many people as you possibly can" or "making sure you get into heaven" or I would have even accepted "sex, drugs and rock & roll" but she wasn't so kind. Oh no. And all these years later her answer is still making it tough for me today.

"You know," she said, "I think it's different for everybody and... I think you're going to have to figure yours out for yourself."

I've been passive-aggressive to my mother ever since.


Blogger Mo said...

good to see she set you on the right path.

2:29 PM  
Blogger dbhayes said...

what a great gift...

5:05 PM  

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