Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Misguided Ideas of Childhood

I read this post from Raising Butterflies and it reminded me of some of my own misguided ideas from childhood. But the one that sticks out most clearly in my memory actually belongs to my little brother, who is 17 years younger than I.

He was sick with a fever and vomiting one night...one of those viruses that make you feel utterly miserable, and my mom was awake with him, caring for him, helping him through. "Mom, isn't there any medicine you can give me to help me get better?" he asked desperately. Mom shook her head, "No, honey, I'm sorry. This is a virus, and there's no medicine that can just make it go away."

In the morning he felt much much better, and he seemed dileriously happy. "Mom, I'm feeling better!" He couldn't seem to get over the fact that he was no longer sick, and eventually it began to dawn on Mom that my little brother had been under the impression that he was incurably ill and would be for the rest of his life. While she had meant that with a virus you just have to stick it out and let the sickness pass on its own, he had understood her to mean that he would be in pain and misery for the rest of his life. What a long night that must have been.

4 comments:

bubandpie said...

I know I've got some of these, but I can't think of them. There are also those assumptions of childhood - the assumption that the way my family did things is normal, or even the only proper way, when in fact it's actually weird and idiosyncratic. (My husband is like that about tent trailers. The only proper way for a family to vacation is with a tent trailer, because that's how HIS family did it in his childhood.)

Nina said...

That's what I'm talking about! You want to laugh, but you feel so badly because if you had known what they had been thinking, you could have calmed their fears immediately. Your post actually reminded ME of an experience from my own childhood I had forgotten all about. I was sick with a high fever (apparently a subject with lots of room for misinterpretaion) and I overheard my parents discussing whether I was going to have to "packed in ice". I had this image of myself in a frozen ice block in my head and I was scared to death!

Laura said...

When my parents told me that I had broke my arm (I was five) I was devastated because I thought my arm was going to fall off --- I mean, that is what my doll's arms did when they broke.

Catherine said...

Oh wow! It really is amazing how differently things sound when you're a kid, sometimes. I remember a few of those myself...


catherine