I laugh, still, at the comedian’s famous one liner:
I started out as a child…
He follows that with dead air, which becomes increasingly funny as he waits for his audience to “get it”. Hilarious!
However, didn’t we all originate most humbly, as completely needy persons?
And we all remember those early days, remember something almost mystical about our lives from our teensy perspective. I remember the white satin, quilted surroundings in the bassinette and my daddy’s face peeking over the top of it to grin at me.
I remember lots of it, but one thing I loved was the layout of our house, skinny and tall, two stories high but with only two bedrooms. I loved the carpeted staircase leading from the front door to the upstairs, so much, however, the back stairs, outdoors for some reason, were beyond my abilities. With open risers, treads with no “treads”, and a rail too high for a little one, they proved my downfall.
Since when I fell, I was carrying feed to my new baby ducks, I experienced the unique:
Duck feed in the eyes.
Although that was traumatic to me, what I remember most is my mom’s trauma and devastation. Her little first-born had fallen big and could have suffered all sorts of injuries. Likely, she writhed in guilt—I would have. And she expressed every drop of it in her tender ministrations to my little gritty eyes.
She even carefully explained to me that although normally, she would tell me not to cry, this was one time when it was good to cry, because tears would wash my eyes.
Amazing how hard it is to cry when everyone wants you to do so. I remember that, too. I can almost remember her voice, although I was ever so young.
So shocking as a small child to be told it’s okay to cry, just this once.
I’m sure she devoted an entire bottle of Murine to the task at hand. Of course I fought the idea of having anything more, deliberately placed into my eyes, as I lay on the couch with my head tipped back, crying, doing some writhing of my own,with eyes SHUT.
She won, though, as mother-love always does.
My bruises and scrapes healed quickly and my eyes have worked just great, for many a year.
My mom left this world, long ago.
The old two-story house could easily have become a drug-drop by now.
The quiet street where I played with another little girl, on her front steps, has probably been resurfaced so many times that it’s taller than the sidewalks.
Surely the duck pen is long-gone.
And the couch is dead.
The incredible gray paper with giant coral-colored roses on the living room walls has mercifully been replaced, I can imagine. No doubt, someone has painted over the beautifully varnished woodwork. The ceiling stain, telling of the time my brother and I got carried away, playing with toy dishes in the bathroom sink has, no doubt, been covered.
Furniture has gone down and back up those front stairs too many times. The back stairs, outdoors, have probably been re-worked many times.
And in my memory, the whole thing has never changed.
…But it’s the laughter we will remember, whenever we remember the way we were… –Alan and Marilyn Bergman