Monday, January 30, 2012

Simpler Days

My two-year-old is at the peculiar stage of innocence where she really likes the sensation of hitting different substances (the couch, the wall, toys, her sister...) but harbors no ill intentions. Coupled with her knowledge of tools, she seems to believe that everything can be fixed with a hammer, so there is no artifice in her response to horrified questions like "Why are you hitting your teddy bear with that drumstick?" She is truly and honestly "fixing it."

It's hard to keep this in mind when she has also adopted the "Finding Nemo" seagulls' mantra as her own. She justifies snatching toys from her sister with a cheery "My turn!" and rejects her peas for the ones on my plate when they are the exact same small green butter-less balls. I remember drinking my mom's soda as a teenager, and my husband still (after six years of marriage!) refuses to share a drink with me at the movies because of the size of my "sips," but I certainly don't remember filtching food of the plates of the rest of my family. It actually repulses me somewhat, even while the Toddler Feeder in my is glad to see her eating some veggies.  It reminds me of the biography of Helen Keller that I read as a child which described the terror tactics Anne Sullivan witnessed in her first meal at the Keller family dinner table.

I remind myself on a daily basis how fortunate I am to have two healthy, intelligent girls, a willing and able partner who supports and loves his roles as husband and father, and extended family who will drop everything and come a'runnin' if we ever need them. All my respect goes out to all the men and women who are raising their children with any less of a support network.

While I wouldn't give up my technology-based life, there is a rosy-glow-of-nostalgia part of me that mourns elements of simpler days that are forever lost: when families were closer because it was rare to leave one's hometown; when there was less concentration on the motives and intentions that surrounded one; when so many more things could, in fact, be fixed with a hammer.

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