Encore: “Carryovers” From Childhood

Sometimes I swing wide when I turn corners. That’s because I learned how to drive on a crew cab. In order not to drive over the curb, Dad taught me to allow room for the cab and the extended box. I no longer drive a crew cab, in fact the vehicle I drive is about half the size, but sometimes I have the tendency to,


swing wide.

A “carryover” from my youth.

Then I realized I have a lot of carryovers.

Another is, sometimes when I pick up the phone receiver I don’t just listen for the dial tone, I listen for a voice. Growing up on the farm we shared a phone line with a couple of neighbors. You can’t just pick up the phone and start dialing when you’re on a party line, you first have to listen for a voice. If you’re really stealthy you can listen to a conversation. But what was really frustrating was the neighbor girl who used to watch television with her boyfriend,

over the phone.

I’d pick up the phone and the only thing I’d hear was voices off of “Dallas”.

A lifetime has passed but every once in a while I still listen for voices.

I also make sure I don’t sit on cold damp grass. As kids, Mom always warned that sitting on cold damp grass would “give you a kidney infection”. I have no idea if this is true or not, but I don’t sit on grass until well into the summer and until then only on a lawn chair.

Baths. We had a tub in the old farmhouse but no shower. When I was in grade five, we moved into a new house. We weren’t allowed to shower in the new house and could only bath because Mom was afraid to ruin the grout around the tiles. Once the basement was completed and we were booted downstairs as teenagers Dad was sure to have an enclosed tub installed. No worries about wrecking grout! And shower we did. But a warm bath is still quite often a part of my nighttime ritual.

When my sisters and I were really little, the whole family used to kneel down at the sofa to say our bedtime prayers. At the end, Mom and Dad taught us to say “God bless Mommy and Daddy and Angela, Lisa, Paula and the two grandmas”.

We were blessing our family.

Now, my Grandmothers are no longer with us, I haven’t called my parents “Mommy and Daddy” for a good long time, and I don’t usually refer to myself in the third person, but quite often when I say prayers, especially if I’m not really concentrating, I end them this way.

Interesting, what stays with you as you grow older.

Imprinted lessons and motherly warnings.

Little rituals.

All little bits and pieces that add up to who you are. History and memories carried over as part of ingrained behaviour.

What “carry-overs” have you brought with you from childhood?


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