Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Being a Child Again Isn't Easy

Today I stumbled upon something that humorist Erma Bombeck wrote when my older daughter was just a few months old. It touched me so much I kept a copy of it my Beth's baby book:

"I had a dream the other night that I can't get out of my mind. The adults of the world became the children and the children ran the world.
"It was terrible, standing down there wedged among all those knees. I couldn't get a drink of water, mail a letter, or open a door. Cars were even worse. If you didn't kill yourself getting to a window, you just sat there on the seat with your legs sticking straight out, staring at the back of the seat.
"At the supermarket, I was just standing there when without a warning, someone whipped me off the floor and forced my legs through a grocery cart seat that was so cold my teeth frosted up.
"I took naps when I wasn't sleepy, ate when I wasn't hungry, had sweaters put on me when I wasn't cold and got thrown into swimming pools when I didn't want to swim.
"I was tossed into the air when I had an upset stomach, forced to the bathroom whether I had to go or not, and ordered to stop crying when I had a perfectly good reason for it.
"I never did anything right. I played with chewing gum, wiped my hands off on my dress, leaned back on chairs, made faces in the toaster, and sniffed instead of using a handkerchief. Once when I came into the kitchen with a comb in my hand, I thought life was over.
"I crayoned when I was supposed to, played with strangers when I was told to, and washed my hands 50 million times a day. I was 'seen a lot and not heard,' given reasons of 'because I said so, that's why' and told with regularity, 'You should have gone before you left home.
"But the worst part was that people kept telling me, 'This is the best part of your life, so enjoy it'. " 


  1. What a lovely memory. I think about Erma Bombeck frequently.
    When she knew she was dying from cancer she reflected on things she would do differently. Things such as having friends over even if the house wasn't clean, laughing with kids, etc. It makes you realize how short life is and we should spend our time enjoying it.

    1. Blond Logic, yes I remember that. "Use the good china". She was clever and funny with a self deprecating humor that seems to be missing from the horizon today. Now comics ridicule everyone and everything else.

  2. A wonderful memory, Linda! I'm doing a lot of reflecting lately. It's interesting how time tends to soften the edges of certain memories. The bad isn't nearly as bad after a half-century, and the good times are not nearly as good as the times that have followed. :)

    1. Things do seem to improve with age, don't they (or at least the edges are softened a bit).