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12.11.2012

TIME'S KALEIDOSCOPE


Isn't it funny how without a scope of comparison or life experience we don't know what is truly good, bad, normal or strange.  We are clueless as kids to the full picture.  Though we might know something isn't quite right, we can't articulate it, don't really fully understand it, aren't able to verbalize it or even totally put a finger on it.

In some regard it is a sort of protective blessing that as kids we don't have a full perspective.  It's how kids can survive some horrible growing up years, bad parenting, even abuse. We can only know what we know until we know more.

Time and experience gives us perspective that we can't have without it.  For instance, sitting at the dinner table the other evening Doug turned to me and said, "Nancy, I always thought my mom was an amazing cook, but compared to you she was absolutely horrible!  I didn't know anything else!"  I laughed.  I too have had those same thoughts thinking back to things I truly thought as a kid. 

My mom's sugar cookies, I thought as a kid anyway, were amazing. So much so that one Christmas season after school I decided to make a triple batch for my mom and the upcoming Christmas season.  My parents had a Christmas party that night.  I started making her frosted sugar cookie recipe at 4 p.m.  After rolling out cookies and baking until around 9 p.m. I finally called my brother-in-law Kent to come and help me frost the entire dining room table of cookies. That's a lot of cookies to make period, let alone ones that later in my grown up years I came to know were not really that great in terms of the recipe.  Comparison and life showed me otherwise.  I do not make my mom's sugar cookie recipe.  Neither do my sisters:)  Sorry mom!

I thought I was fairly, moderately at least, normal as a kid.  My sisters have begged to differ with my view of myself as a kid.  They tell me I was not normal.  Looking back I realize I probably wasn't "normal" as they like to put it.  That became apparent to me in my adult life when, after telling my oldest sister things I thought about as a kid - deep thoughts at a very young age, she responded, "You know that's not normal for a kid to think those deep things and feel them so deeply?"

To be honest, I had never thought that.  My assumption was that others too at that age had deep life thoughts. Since it was all I knew, it was all I knew. She informed me that was not the norm. As I thought back, from the scope of time and experiences, I realized she was right.  I though am glad I did not realize that when I was a kid.  No one wants to overly consciously know they are an odd duck as a kid!

I've talked with people over the years who would attest to the fact that even though they knew the sexual abuse they experienced as a kid wasn't ok, they had no scope of comparison.  They thought that was what other families experienced too.  It wasn't until later, post-childhood, that they could with time and experience, come to know that was most definitely not good or right.  That there were better "sugar cookie" recipes out there so to speak. 

I lived in a marriage for 25 years that I knew wasn't good. I thought that others struggled constantly like I did in marriage, that was just part of it. I did not truly know what and how much I had missed out on until I got divorced and remarried.  Marriage could be fulfilling and rich.  It could be a daily date.  It could be a soul connection. Love, real pure love, could be a life changing thing.  I had no idea!  None.  Time and comparison taught me different. 
     

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