My Awakening

Have you ever wished you could go back and live your life as a child knowing what you know now? It crossed my mind a time or two and knowing that it was never going to happen, I was left with the guilt of having lived and later perpetuated the lies of childhood.  Maybe the word LIE is a little strong but we ARE the most advanced society in the world and yet, we have institutionalized the idea of some old guy with a team of flying reindeer that delivers toys to nearly every house on the planet in one night. Similarly, we have a rabbit the walks upright and averages about 6 feet tall, brings goodie baskets and hides colored eggs. And what about this fairy that buys used teeth?

I don’t fall for these ideas anymore and neither should anyone else. I will say, however, that these myths are all hanging around in good faith while there are others that are most definitely…nonsense.

 Remember these?

Just tell the truth…you won’t get in any trouble.

My advice, based purely on experience, would be to not fall for this one. It is one of the most deceptive of parenting practices and can be severely punitive. Parents and Grandparents, teachers and nuns have all mastered this particularly nasty form of treachery. When faced with this prospect, I would highly recommend running as far and as fast as you can.

This is going to hurt me more than it is going to hurt you.

I heard this one too many times. Think about it. How could that belt going across my butt have possibly hurt anyone but me? LIE! LIE! LIE!

You are going to have kids one day and they are going to be brats like you!

There could be some truth to this one. I have kids of my own who are all grown. They were good kids, most of the time…when they were sleeping.

The reality is that our parents lied to us all the time, but they did it for our own good.  (I had a good laugh when I wrote that). Having these experiences and learning about life is all part of growing up and of making us who we are as individuals.

There are some experiences that stay in our memory like rest stops on a long road trip. No one ever remembers how many times you pulled over to go to the bathroom until the next trip when Dad reminds everyone with a proclamation of whats not going to happen this time.  And then it’s like, gosh…we only stopped 17 times last trip. Is that too many? Really?

These are the proverbial where-were-you-when experiences. For example, I can clearly remember my Dad waking me up and telling me John Lennon was dead and I still remember Mr. Ross rolling the TV into Civics class when President Reagan was shot.  I can’t recall all of these types of experiences from childhood, but every once in awhile, someone will bring one up out of the blue and suddenly, I’m there.

There are also those things about my childhood that I would rather just forget. Whether it defines you or not, there is always going to be that one moment that is absolutely horrifying at eleven years old that you wouldn’t trade for anything in the world at 45. I have had more than my fair share of those moments, like setting my pants on fire while playing with sparklers. I know we all had successes and failures growing up and we didn’t always exercise the best judgment, but this was a significant emotional event for me. Not sure how many of you have actually set your pants on fire with a sparkler but from that point on you could safely rule it out as even a remote possibility for me ever again. In fact, to this day, I would rather play with a hand grenade than a sparkler.

And then there are the earliest memories of childhood. I have often wondered if everybody had the same sort of awakening that I had as a child. It was more than just that first memory. I know where I was, who I was with and what I was doing…It was as if I appeared out of nowhere that day. I must have been about three or four years old and I can remember being in that old Falcon station wagon looking around and being amazed at everything going on around me. I had conscious thoughts and I can still remember them! It was one fleeting moment in my life that I can recall so vividly that it was almost as if that was the day that I began my journey through life. There is a certain euphoria I feel when I think about that day and though I am in no real hurry to start the next leg of my journey in the afterlife, it makes me wonder what my last thoughts will be.


2 thoughts on “My Awakening

  1. I never told my daughter that she won’t get in trouble if she tells the truth, but I have told her that she will get in LESS trouble if she tells the truth – and considerably more if she lied.

    My earliest memories are from when I was three years old. They are mostly small snippets, but still very clear.

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