Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch

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

  • Redefining Need

    "Can a society which is incapable of protecting individual privacy even within one's four walls rightfully claim that it respects the individual and…

  • Mind Out of Joint

    These are strange and stressful times for all of us. But I feel simultaneously more prepared and less able to deal with this state of emergency.…

  • It Begins

    My daughter went to Las Vegas with friends this afternoon. Her mom is staying late at her downtown studio. My dad is asleep at his facility. And I…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.