Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Summer 2012

This blog post is brought to you by the Shaw's Market parking lot. I imagined it up while standing there, looking at all the miserable people around me. I grinned when the thought popped into my head.

In the sixth grade, at the awful age of twelve the state of New York told me I was disabled. A nice lady followed me around for a day and watched me sit in the front of class every period. She watched me pile my books up high on my desk so that my papers would be close to my face. She tested me during the time I was supposed to be learning the Spanish alphabet. It meant little then and it means little now. Yet even before my heart failed, I stopped growing, and I started taking poison daily I had a license by the State of New York to always be just a little bit helpless.

I never noticed it, but I internalized that lesson at some point. It might not have been until later. High school maybe. At some point, though, I set just a slightly lower mark for myself in terms of ability in life skills. I never learned to vacuum. I don't drive. I can't open a bottle. I can't really clean at all. I never thought I was stupid, untalented, or anything less than fierce, but I never imagined I could really be normal either.

This summer I have been the most normal I could have ever imagined. I realized suddenly, when I was getting my groceries for the week I was surprising myself. Not even a month ago had you told me that I would be doing groceries, dishes, laundry, going to work, dealing with my meds, coooking, and simply taking care of all my own stuff I would have been in disbelief. This all brings me a kind of sustained joy. It pleases me somehow to feel a little bit independent. It's simply liberating.


Sean Czarniecki said...

The sad thing is that you had some sort of reason for not learning those things. Many of today's kids (mine included) get too much handed to them. I can only shake my head when my daughter can't open some container - my line is "If you were alone in the woods with that, what would you do?" That's my attempt to get her to think about how to get things done without asking for assistance. It is now basically a joke, as the response will often be something like "Why would I have a container of ice cream in the middle of the woods?" (sigh) :)

Bob Singer said...

Wow Em, you're just like a real girl now. When you were sick, you were treated by us and everyone else like you were fragile. It definitely slowed down your path toward independence, and was probably unnecessary. However, you are making up for lost time now. The skill sets you've picked up in the last year represent years of development for most kids.

Suzanne said...

I find this post amusing in some ways because of all the young(er) people I know, you always strike me as one of the most mature. I knew you didn't drive, but the vacuum...that could have been your little secret forever.