Disappointments from childhood are the most complicated to unpack. I say this without reservation and with total authority.
“Closeup Caterpillar On A Green Leaf” courtesy of iamharin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.
When I was twelve, my mother was diagnosed with a (then) rare but very treatable form of cancer. It shook us all to our core since she was the one who “lived clean”–juxtaposed against my Dad–she had no history of drinking, didn’t smoke, avoided the sun. We found out that it had also metastasized (spread) and she was going to have to have surgery to remove the cancer and aggressive treatments of iodine therapy to remove anything left. During iodine therapy she couldn’t have visitors and couldn’t touch certain types of people so I could not see her. The therapy coincided with a pre-planned annual vacation we were to take, so my father decided instead of being home and not visiting my mother we would go and I would bring a friend with me.
I’m getting ready to go on vacation for spring break and nothing is better than the anticipation of having free, uninterrupted family time to relax and enjoy each other. It’s times like this that I am reminded of the vacations I spent as a kid in the Caribbean with my parents, as they were probably the happiest of my entire childhood and because of that they leave me with a deep ache and a profound sorrow for the loss of my Dad.
Asking for what we want is primal. And most of us have been practicing it for many years. As babies, we asked our parents to fill our needs and depending on how well or how receptive they were to them, thats probably how adept we are at asking for what we want today.
Then there’s asking for what we deserve. This is a profoundly different thing because we have to have a clear understanding of what that is, then be able to articulate it with courage, conviction and in a way that the recipient will be able to metabolize. Lots of times, I find myself jumping ahead… Trying to articulate that which I have not fully developed my own thinking around. Someone said to me recently that we often call a person making demands petty… When what they are really being is specific. They have likely applied some rigor to understanding what it is they deserve and can specify what that means to them. That’s the opposite of petty… it’s actually quite substantive and important.
Weddings still get to me. I imagine they always will. Every kind of wedding from a small family affair to the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. It’s not because of the joy or anticipation of watching two people join lives–although that is also lovely. Seeing a father walk his daughter down the aisle, lovingly give her over to an officiant and her betrothed and kiss her for the last time as his little girl. Then watching a father/daughter dance is another tear-jerker… Ok, its more of a sob fest.