Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Upstairs, Downstairs

When I climb the stairs after my daughter's bedtime, it takes me back to my own childhood.  I remember falling asleep to the sounds of  the rest of the family going about their business.

My father was (and still is) a fairly quick walker. But when he climbed the stairs, his steps sounded ponderous. Between the landing and the upstairs hallway, he often punctuated his steps with a long burp (sorry, Dad).

I could recognize my mother by her sprightly, rhythmic steps. Sometimes she also whistled softly (as she still does) with her classically trained warble.

I'm sure my daughter recognizes the sound of me going up the stairs. I don't lean on the railing the way I used to, but I still need it. My gait is uneven, and there's nothing remotely sprightly about it.

There have been times when I thought that full recovery was right around the corner. Now I realize there's a very good chance that when my daughter is a teenager, I will still need the railing.

I have many identities: mother, music-lover, aspiring writer, wife, daughter. Am I ready to tack on this one: disabled mother?