Friday, March 11, 2005

So Sick

I had my father drive me to the doctor today because it was snowing, my car doesn’t handle inclement weather very well, and I’m not feeling well. He was waiting for me in the lobby area while I was waiting for the doctor in the office room.
With my hands at my sides to support my weight on the edge of the paper-covered bench, I rocked myself back and forth, matching the rhythm of my swinging legs. Here I was, a full four days short of turning twenty, and I realized that I just don’t want to grow up.
When I was younger, I'd make my father carry me around all the time. He used to always say, "when you turn five, I'm not going to carry you anymore." This line was modified every year, of course, "when you turn six..." "when you turn seven..." until I turned eight and was told that I was too old to be carried. And that was the end of that.
When I was in first grade, my parents gave me a book called So Sick! for Chanukah. I threw a full-fledged, mad tearful tantrum that I wouldn’t read it. They told me it was easy reading and that if I tried, I'd like it...but I didn’t want to try because if I tried and found that I could, in fact, read by myself, my mother and father wouldn't read to me anymore. Or at least I thought.
In an attempt to clear my mind from these silly memories, I glanced down at the form the nurse had filled out about me on the doctor's desk to see what it said. I read my height and my weight to myself and stirred the two numbers around in my head until they took on a significance that they didn’t have before. The last time I went to the doctor, I weighed four pounds less. The time before that, I weighed nine pounds less...I had to stop thinking about this.
My head was stuffy and the room was swinging around my head. But then, I was shaking myself back and forth. I needed to lay down, but I didn't want to seem like a little child.
I don’t think that numbers mean a lot. 20...19...18...all ages are really indistinguishable from each other. No big deal, I think, whether I'm 20 or 19. But now people expect me to be an adult. When I was faced with my Dean Escott episode, I felt like I was supposed to handle the situation on my own. It's what people expected of me. Only, I didn't know if I liked that.
When you're a kid, people don't expect you to know how to handle a situation--they wait for your questions and sometimes even offer guidance before they come. But when you're an adult, even though you don't know any more than you did when you were a kid, they expect you to know what you're doing.
"I’m a baby!" I wanted to shout in the tiny doctor's office. "I'm just a little girl!"
I wanted to crawl into a fetal position and sleep. But, of course, I didn't.
So when the doctor came in, I acted mature. When my father and I walked to the car and went to pick up my medication, I acted adult-like. When we got home, I didn't say, "mommy, could you just give me a hug and tell me that no matter how old I get, you'll love me and want to protect me the way you did when I was five?" I simply took my medication and went up to my room to take a nap. I'll get there, I'm sure, I'll get there.

0 original thoughts out there

Post a Comment

<< Home

Powered by Blogger Listed on BlogShares