Love, Poppet.

13 Aug

Growing up with a strict specification for family was tough. There was always the dad, the mom, the grandparents, and the kids. My family didn’t follow the natural order and it felt like I got the short end of the stick. I was too young and too smart for my own good. I grew detached, disconnected.

Soon, I became the outsider looking in. Family dinners and reunions were a blur. And no amount of toys or chocolates could satiate my hunger for escape. There were so many ‘whys’ in my head, too many ‘whys’ for a child.

I was 4; four and desperate for a rainbow; four and searching for pixie dust. I calculated the number of milk cans I needed to bring if I took my infant brother with me. And every night, I would hope and pray for Rainbow Brite or Peter Pan.

They never came.

I figured that both Rainbow Land and Neverland didn’t exist, and it was time for Plan B.

The easiest solution: grow up.

I grew up fast. I grew up angry. And I was dying to turn 7.

Seven, based on my research – before Google was available – was the age when you could pick where you would stay. My mind was set on my grandfather. I would request to be under his custody and I would take my little brother with me. I was formulating the arguments I would make, wondering if they would let a 7-year old make an appeal in court. Whatever it took, I was going to break free of the Frankenstein family tree I was in.

Before I could put my plans into action, I met this old, Scottish lady with sparkling blue eyes. She loved to dance with her vacuum and on occasion, would fish dentures out of her champagne. She too, had a family that was almost as absurd as mine – zoo animals and all.

With tatas on fire, she showed me that I didn’t get the short end of the stick, that I wasn’t alone. She explained that there were all sorts of different families; no one size fits all.

My seven-year old mind was blown. Run over. Flattened by a truck like a latex mask on cold concrete.

I was balling like a child with the emotional baggage of a thrice-divorced, 60-year old. It was like someone threw an orange at me, tree included. My mind was as messy as her apartment and yet, with her magic, my Plan B became mere scribbles on a chalkboard. My anger melted like a snow cone in Phoenix. With puffy eyes, for the first time, in a long time, I felt like a child; that I had every right to feel the way that I did. And that it wasn’t my fault.

Thank you, Mrs. Doubtfire. Thank you for showing me that as long as there’s love – and restaurants with delivery service – I will always have a family.

And yes, I did turn out all right.

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#RIPRobinWilliams. You are awesome.

Funny Mrs Doubtfire memes on Buzzfeed.

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One Response to “Love, Poppet.”

  1. Anomalous Underdog 13August2014 at 8:31 am #

    I think some parents get too much disappointed with their kids for whatever reason, that they grow up thinking they don’t deserve to be happy until they somehow “fix” themselves, when the only real problem is simply not enough love 🙂

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