It was different back then. When we were kids. Actually, it is ALL different, ALL the time. Each moment, the world changes inexplicably. It will never be the same again… as it is….. in this moment right now.
But that isn’t where I am traveling tonight. Nope. I’m hopping in the Time Machine and heading back to little girl-hood. I was Knighted a GirlHood, for sure. It started early on. When I protested that I was being punished by wearing dresses. I revolt to this day.
Back to the matter. Girl-hood. The story about how it was different back then, when we were kids. THAT story. We were outside. A lot. Especially in the warm months. (Albeit, we spent plenty of time outside in the cold too. I can remember coming in, and being numb from my knees down. Thank goodness for hot milk with Nestle Quik in it.!)
Okay, back to the great outdoors. One of my first memories, was finding an injured mouse. I was quite young. I found it behind our garage. It was awake, and shaky, but badly chewed. I knew, in that moment, my 5 year-old Destiny. It was…. to save that mouse. I was completely affected by it’s condition, and felt both terribly sad and panicked at the same time. I was very upset that it seemed to be so frightened and hurt.
I picked it up carefully in my palms, and walked toward the house like I was carrying a bowl of scalding hot soup. I walked slowly, and carefully…. measuring each step…. trying not to disturb the mouse.
I managed to get the screen door open and wiggle my way in. As I recall, Mom was sitting in her chair in the living room. Dad was at work.
So I approached Mom, palms held out, and carefully showed her the mouse. She looked over to see what I was presenting, and she sort of cushion-leaped, and screamed at the same time. It startled me at first. But I can remember thinking that I was glad she was as upset a I was… about the predicament of this poor mouse.
Unfortunately, she put her hand between my shoulder blades, and shoveled my right through the kitchen and out the back door…. hollering, mostly expletives, all the way.
Once outside, I turned to explain that it needed help. I wanted to nurse it back to health. She mostly complied, and came back outside a few moments later with a shoe box. Mom instructed me to put it in the box and then to the shade. The next thing on the agenda, was to go wash my hands, and “don’t touch that filthy mouse again.”
I obeyed about 50%.
After washing, I got an empty Chiffon dish from the cupboard and filled it with water. Then I tore up a patch of grass, and headed back to my patient, in the shade, in the box. Andy, (as I had taken to calling him) was in the same condition. I fixed the box with the grass and the water. Next a plastic lid, with a piece of torn-up Wonder bread.
But Andy just laid in the corner. Shaking, and breathing hard. Then not shaking quite as much. Then not breathing quite as much. Until… it all stopped. Andy stopped.
As far as I could remember, in all my five years, this was the worst thing that had ever happened to me. I sobbed. I cried. I put little drops of water on my finger, and onto his mouth. I pleaded wth him. Begged him to get better. He could be my pet. We would be pals.
But Andy was gone. And he was not coming back.
Things were different back then. It all changes. But even in that change, that constant rearrangement of time… certain things remain with us. Certain things remain constant. Parts of our lives can feel the same way over, and over again.
I asked someone this afternoon, how their day was going. And they said…. out of the clear blue .. … “Your day is what you make it.”
Yeah, well. I’m not so sure I’m completely on board with that. Sometimes we have crappy days. Sometimes we incredibly wonderful, momentous, and lucky days. And on other days… Andy leaves.
We know when we are sad, or scared. Happy, or content. We know when we are challenged, or successful, or good, or bad. We realize the things that affect our very inside center… that place at the the complete middle … where the little tiny churner-thing…. right inside us… makes all these feelings come from the deep and up to the surface.
Wishing them away doesn’t make them different. We simply have to feel it… whatever, that “it” may be. And that is how it all changes, and all remains the same.