I miss my childhood.
In my childhood, family loved each other. Period. It didn’t seem complicated. As an adult, I sometimes don’t EVEN like the people I’m related too. My mom made a cross stitch from my Grammy that said Grammy was “not just his mother, but also my friend”, so I thought being in-laws was simple. But as an adult, I’ve discovered that sometimes his family’s brand of crazy and mine don’t mesh. Sometimes we butt heads. Sometimes love is hard and complicated.
In my childhood, death and disease were not everyday realities. The people I knew and loved were generally safe and secure. I did not even know anyone who died until my cousin’s suicide when I was 10. As an adult, I have lost three of my four grandparents, and the Engineer has lost all of his. Our parents are growing older. Mine seem older than their years, no doubt due to the strain of raising my sister’s children.
In my childhood, I had no ideas of wills and trusts and guardian ships. Despite having an active duty military father, the thought of what “could” happen never occurred to me. As an adult, what would happen to my children if something were to happen to my husband and I actively bothers me. Our will had always appointed the Engineer’s parents as guardians if something were to happen to us. But, as I watch my parents aging before their time, I know that isn’t the right choice anymore. There doesn’t seem to be a right choice now, and I don’t know what to do.
In my childhood, there were no such things as mortgages. Seriously. We always lived In the military base provided housing, so I had no idea about house payments and premium mortgage insurance and property taxes. As an adult, I know about these things all too well. They are a source of consternation more frequently than I could’ve imagined as a child.
In my childhood, reading and imagination were daily, constant companions. My mother would pry books out of my hands to convince me to eat, bathe and sleep. When I wasn’t reading, I was frequently daydreaming. I was off in my own little world most of the time. As an adult, mundane things occupy such a large part of my brain that it usually takes a lot of time to break free of the cobwebs enough to write a few paragraphs. Reading takes time, which is all too often, in short supply.
Since I know that I won’t be magically transported back to my childhood anytime soon, I try to spend my time creating a wonderful childhood for my children, and for my nephews. It’s tough sometimes to create a safe bubble for them, without lying or keeping them too sheltered from the realities of the world. But, I know it’s worth it.