Tuesday, 11 June 2013

were you afraid of elastic bands?

This was a question I nearly managed to ask my daughter today.

I was having a conversation with her about the elements of fragility in my family that were part of "normal" life in the world I grew up in. We all have osteogenesis imperfecta to a greater or lesser degree, inherited from my great grandfather. This can result in desperately brittle bones, from which thankfully I've been spared. However, my childhood (as an only child) was liberally sprinkled with little incidental alarms like

"don't lean over the arm of the chair like that!!! Auntie Connie cracked a rib doing just the same"

"I was just picking a book up Mum!" 

No matter, in an extremely small family, having four "very breakables" in three narrow generations does tend to lead to a particular family sensibility. Living with both my mother and grandmother, and only them, tended to distill this aura of impending calamity - I won't even begin to dwell on the dentist horror stories! So, life was expected to be painful, to involve broken bones in all directions and, for a rather small child, this made elastic bands - yes even the innocuous elastic band (remember the incendiary hot water bottle) a source of some disquiet. Yes, I confess, I was afraid of elastic bands! They might flick you in the eye, slap their nasty, smarting little rubber selves against your fingers, snap with a sudden and alarming twang! I avoided them when at all possible. However, I have to confess to dissolving into giggles before making it through my question to my daughter.

Being afraid of elastic bands is, surely, too ridiculous for words?

1 comment:

  1. Not ridiculous in the circumstances, I'd have thought it was very reasonable. (My mum broke her hip stepping off the bottom step of the stairs - you had to laugh (in that British way...)


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