“Boys, come sit down here”, my mother said with a tone that immediately quieted us. Robby and I at ten and eight respectively were poster children for all that adolescent boyhood could do to an unsuspecting parent.
As my brother and I sat at the kitchen table, the pensive look between my mom and dad I am sure went unnoticed by us, up to now we had been living the care free life that naturally occurs when you are young and without responsibility.
Naturally when they told us Dad was moving out, the shock and the complete lack of perspective for someone ten years old left a mark in me that I still feel today 40 years later. I remember I ran off to my room flinging my door shut and hurling myself on to the bed, bawling so hard I thought my insides came out… in a way I guess they did. Robby went outside to ride his bike.
Maybe that was my first revelatory experience about how different each person is but at the time I was completely confused how he could do that without so much as a tear. Looking back now I wonder how different things might have been for him if he had cried instead.
I can’t pinpoint exactly when, but somewhere in the ensuing weeks and months almost all my memories for the first ten years of my life disappeared. Oh I have a few, mostly I think because at various family gatherings I heard them told and re-told so many times they became adopted memories. I don’t know…maybe that was one of the ways I put up walls of self-protection.
I find myself thinking how I really don’t like this particular claim I can make about being on the front side of the rising divorce statistics. Nowadays it seems to be the rule rather than the exception… if people bother getting married at all. There is a sect of people out there who claim this is progress, that the old ideologies need to be swept away, after all this is the 21st century. Maybe I am a voice in the wilderness, but, I think if we keep making progress like this there won’t be a society left to progress.