* some names not mentioned to protect the innocent.
My aunt is only ten years older than me. So when she came to babysit my younger brothers, I got to be her sidekick. As I aged, she babysat only on evenings my parents would be out late. One of her last visits rolled around. I was eleven and almost ready to take over all of the brother wrangling.
Earlier that afternoon my baby brother toddled around the house in the disposable diapers of the seventies. Disposable was the big sell at that point, they didn’t have elastic around the leg holes or cartoon characters emblazoned on them, they were just pretty much disposable, which, if you’ve ever used cloth diapers, you would probably agree made them a very good thing. A friend of mine, Kim, was over hanging out, which is what we used to call playing. She and I went into the living room as bottle clenching toddler buns disappeared into the kitchen. Dad jogged down the stairs intent on some errand, and the three of us met up in the hallway. Kim’s eyes darted to the corner, and mine followed. A small dark olive green object sat at the edge of the entrance to the kitchen. As if magnetized, she leaned closer, and then her body followed her eyes. Dad now had noticed and we watched her bend over and scoop the object up.
Her knit eyebrows screamed confusion, I think she almost scratched her head in bewilderment. “What is this?” She finally asked. By then she was just a foot away from us.
I screamed and Dad laughed one loud guffaw. “It’s a turd!” He chortled and gasped. “From the baby’s diaper!”
I will never forget the scene. Kim launched the disgusting little gem and fled from the room. Dad and I laughed so hard that neither of us wondered what happened to Kim. A flash of white got my attention. I wiped the water from my eyes and watched Kim bend over the offending object with a paper towel clutched in her fist. She scooped it up and raised it high over her head in victory.
Enter Aunt Har Har. The boys were scrubbed and drugged or whatever they did to get rowdy boys to sleep in the seventies. My bedtime neared. Aunt Har Har offered to tuck me in. I think she was just bored. But as we were chatting I remembered the excitement of the flying turd.
She sat on the edge of my bed and I told the story with great relish. She laughed, and then laughed harder. I should mention here that I had a bedside light, not on a table, but on the floor next to my canopy. As I described Kim’s realization and actions. Aunt Har Har bent over double and laughed, “har, har, har, har” into my lamp. And I laughed so hard I peed the bed.
Those were the days.
Change. I've learned to embrace it, ride it out til the end. Sometimes I'm kicking and screaming, other times weeping with my eyes clinched tight. Once in awhile I ride like a dog in a car, head out the window snorting what life has to offer. Mother to young adult children, a marriage of thirty years, and a desert to mountain to valley waltz with God have shaped me into someone I never imagined I'd be. Life is short and I want to live it. Tears, sighs, laughter and change. Every morsel granted to me. Scrambled, shaken or stirred.