Growing Up

I’m going to take you on a brief journey today just to make a point. After college I spent several years in government policy/politics then as an outside rep for a trade association (lobbyist). Over the past several years as the prior US administration gutted the justice system and rule of law, I have been continually shocked and have not inured to the prospect of living in an autocracy. How fragile is the system we live in, and how easily it can be destroyed before our very eyes.

It got me to thinking about how I grew up and what makes me who I am today. Luckily for you, that’s a larger subject than will not be dealt with in this venue, but if the book ever comes out I’ll let you know. Phew, you lucked out on that one, you could have been up all night.

Aging brings with it memories. This morning I found a clip of hair, short, black and white. What?!? No-one here looks like that, but she does. Lulu, our miniature Australian Shepherd, has “bloomers” on her back legs that get a bit long and could get wet when she goes potty, so I bought professional scissors and did my best to shorten the fur a bit. A piece had gone under the sofa and I came across it and laughed.

When my sister and I were little, about five and seven, perhaps, we planned on taking a big family trip and had to get up way before the sun rose in order to drive to our destination. My sister had never outgrown sucking her thumb, and would twirl her hair at the same time until sometimes it became knotted. Usually she could easily undo the knot. We got up that morning and met in the kitchen where my parents were looking at Mom’s dull kitchen scissors next to a clump of hair with a big knot in it. My sister had a lock of suspiciously short hair sticking up near her forehead.

“Who did this?” ‘Not me,” said she. “Not me,” said I. “We’re not going anywhere until we find out who did this.” We waited. And waited. I talked to my sister alone and she wouldn’t confess and apologize, no matter my exhortations. I came out to the kitchen and said “I did it. Can we go now?”

“No.” “But why not?” You should know for the record that my sister’s hair was light brown and mine was a darker brown so the culprit was obvious even if they missed the hair sticking up part. “Because you lied,” said Mom. What??????? So I was in equal trouble. We must have eventually gotten on our way after both apologizing but I thought I really got a raw deal.

Of course I know that telling the truth is important and key to having a good moral character. What I find interesting, however, is that I avoid conflict but not at all costs. I take what’s coming if I deserve it, and apologize for errors and the like. But I turned out to be a mediator, and someone who also thinks outside the box to find new ways of reaching a solution between parties. Dad was a dreamer and a doer, a musician, educator, administrator. Mom was very bright and methodical, and became an accountant later in life. When I stumble upon old family stories, I like to think about why we ended up how we are today.

Our Lulu didn’t get in any trouble at all because she didn’t cut her own fur badly, I did, and found the evidence when it was evident there was also a need to vacuum. But it’s Sunday, tomorrow is another day. Cheers! Dee


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