One of the obvious problems with growing older is the tendency to begin using phrases you always detested when young: “back in the day,” and it’s equivalents maddened you in your youth and are now a common element of your vernacular.
Worse still is the knowledge that the days which you seem to lovingly recall weren’t all that good as you lived them, rendered less so, you then believed, by your parents’ endless references to the good old days, when you knew that days were fixed periods, an astronomical phenomenon, and there was nothing the least bit good or bad about them.
But you stop and take solace that the grimaces of your grandchildren’s faces when you use the expression will one day, soon enough, be given over to their use.
I have to stop and wonder if there is a parent alive who hasn’t gently pulled on the toes of achild too young to object and recited “this little piggy.” And of course most children giggle but not for the reason the parents suspect or hope, but at the sight of a large person turning into a somewhat ridiculous child. If they could comprehend just what was said in that always slightly squeaky voice parents adopted for the verse, they would point out that they got strained peas and peaches and such, and that no good pig, or toe for that matter, ever ate roast beef, for they prefer a much sloppier meal.
Okay, let’s get some things straight once and for all. I don’t live in a shoe. It’s a work of modern architecture, a quite normal if unusual looking home,, and if you imagine it shoe-like, so be it. I’m not old, I’m 45, but with eight kids I am prematurely gray. It wasn’t broth I fed them that night, it was a rich Pottage. And no there wasn’t any bread, six of them are celiac intolerant. And I’d hardly call a pat on the back reminding them of bedtime a serious whipping.
I am struggling to understand just who is the target market with a thirty piece at of rubber ducks for the bath that Amazon wants to sell me. I did have a rubber ducky for the bath when I was a child but he was singular, and when he partially cracked and drowned I buried him in the backyard and vowed never to own waterfowl again, rubber or real. And a 30 pack, I mean does Amazon assume that I have some disorder that would require 30 ducks in a tub, and do they all quack in Chinese and all at once, no doubt making taking a bath an unbearable task?
There are several problems with Alice and her adventures, and while how she found a rabbit hole large enough to go down it is certainly one of them, but the larger question, the unstated question, is how a second person made the trip and where that person was from. It seems that he/she was present before the rabbit appeared for he/she knew precisely what our Alice was doing while sitting on the riverbank. So we can assume he/she came from our world, but then we must ask was he/she a stalker for he/she never spoke to Alice as far as we know, or a friend, or just possibly Alice dropped a tab of acid while sitting on the riverbank, for that would explain the whole story.
You can go home again despite what the author said but home won’t be home anymore so perhaps the author was right. It used to be a little used beltway strangling the already small downtown, a sunken dream of some city planner with myopia. Now they have filled that in and lined it with apartments; here an array of identical, stacked boxes, the blocks of an eight-year-old architect who has discovered order, and there uneven stacks sitting askew fashioned by the less nimble hands of a three-year-old architect perhaps, but all bearing the same name Now Leasing, which I suppose would be an interesting name if this small city wanted to change from the name it has had forever and a day.
Say what you will about this modern age, beset with, well, it’s probably far easier to list what it is not beset with, but there are things from my youth that I do not miss at all. Like the copper molds that home on the kitchen wall, one the shape of a lobster, another an ornate ring. They were strange but reasonably decorative items, but when they were taken down to serve their intended purpose they were the source of my chagrin as mother carefully mixed the Jell-O and poured it into the mold never getting the proportions quite right, leaving us to smile wantonly over gummy cherry lobster bits or lemon gel with some sort of tasteless whipped topping.
The fortune cookies of my childhood were far more interesting, or so my memory would have it. The cookies offered wisdom of the East, or so it seemed to a 10-year-old, but perhaps it was the same mumbo-jumbo in the bulk print today, now that the cookies, which once tasted good, unlike today’s origami cardboard, were folded by hand, and there were no lotteries then, so there was no need for lucky numbers nor did they make a foolish attempt to teach me words in Chinese that I will never have a reason to use.
They are coming for him and he is ready. He has been waiting for this moment for quite some time. It Isn’t what he wanted certainly, but now it isn’t something to fear. He knows that once they come, he will look back on it and regret the moments he spent being concerned. He will think of all of the things he could have done with that time, moments wasted, enjoyment forgone. And he also knows that he will repeat the entire process again next year. That’s just how it is with the first day of a new elementary school year.