Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch
cbertsch

Back in Mind

I'm rearranging the cabinet underneath our front bathroom's sink. There are items there that haven't been touched in years. But some of them hold a peculiar staying power. Seeing the changing pads, "emergency" diapers," and a random cotton square -- I used to sing, "Here comes Peter Cottonsquare, wiping up the. . ." -- brought to mind an everyday life that feels both hundreds of years away in mind and palpably now in body. Skylar walked in to show me the progress on her book and was also taken with the items on the floor. Although she clearly remembers some things from that period in her life, the trauma of needing parental assistance with bodily functions is not one she cares to remember. Is that repression or something else? I'm not sure. In my own case, I had the advantage of being able to establish a new relation to the paraphernalia of bathroom duty when my sister was a baby. The "talk table" and its sticky white vinyl top was thus pried loose from personal associations with a lack of control and displaced onto the specter of my sister's immaturity against which I could feel good about my own progress. As an only child, Skylar hasn't had that opportunity. Now that she has a new cousin, though, she is at least thinking about the time when one is a baby and toddler with greater regularity. Time to head back to the pile. . .
Tags: archive, autobiography, family, memory
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