Depression and anxiety can rob us of fully engaging in life. I can’t count how many times I have had to look at photos simply to jog my memory of segments of my kids’ childhood.
At the dinner table the other night, my husband, oldest son, long-term girlfriend, and I were discussing many topics. I have to say, those two have the most fascinating minds—when they actually engage in conversation. Any time before 5 pm, their vampire minds aren’t exactly in working order.
Somewhere in the discussion, we started talking about old homes. In particular, our first home. The first home for the Dooper Doo (our oldest), and Little Missy Poo-Poo (our second).
In the early 60’s my parents bought a little house on a quiet street across from a 10-acre park. A child’s dream, and we enjoyed every moment of it. Sometime in the latter part of the 60’s my dad bought the house next door to us.
The house was built in 1902, and needed quite a bit of remodeling. I have fond memories of sitting on a bucket, turned upside down, reading Mother Goose rhymes while he worked on the house. I was my dad’s shadow. He was the one who taught me which words weren’t appropriate for all ears. Some I only heard from him. I suppose that’s where I learned that I liked making up words.
My Grandpa moved into that house next door to us, where he lived until the late 80’s. Then I moved in there, got married, and we started our family in that little house.
When my dad remodeled, it was before all the child safety codes of today. Stair balusters were not set to avoid keeping a child from sticking their heads through them.
I was a pretty good hawk-eyed mom. Without being a helicopter, I let my kids explore all they wanted. However, I had a super baby proof house. I would place safe things in areas where they could snoop and think they were accomplishing something. In my opinion, moms have to be tricky like that.
We always had a gate across the bottom of the stairs to prevent sneaky little maneuvers when I was going pee, or something like that. When the Dooper Doo was able to master the stairs, I would let him go up and down to retrieve something from his bedroom.
One day, my husband was at the park talking to a neighbor. The Dooper Doo climbed the steps as I watched.
He stuck his head between the balusters, and couldn’t get it back out. His pesky ears got in the way.
I yelled out the door, as loud as I could, to get my husband’s help. Other than the weekly tripping and falling on his nose, this was the first major occurrence of potential danger for us.
Obviously, we retrieved his head without cutting the balusters—his head also survived—it only took a bit of prying and twisting. 🙂
We were recalling that story over dinner, and I was saying how I wished I had my digital camera back then. I would have told him to wait while I snapped a picture. He told me he was surprised I didn’t take a photo, I took them of everything else.
That is a memory I remember distinctly, because there was such an emotional response attached to it. The fear of a child being hurt, or in danger, triggers some pretty serious adrenaline.
I love that I can still look in the eyes of my oldest son, and see the curious little guy we nicknamed The Dooper Doo. The one who kept me on my toes, physically and mentally.