Keep in Touch with the Dutch

6:23 AM

When I was a teenager, whenever I was flying out the door, my Oma would always call out behind me, "remember to keep in touch with the Dutch."
This was especially so as I turned eighteen and nineteen and twenty, and had a pretty free range to come and go as I pleased. All it took was the familiar phrase and I know, remember to call your Oma and tell her what's up.
 
I've written, on more than one occasion, about a combination of things: growing up, accepting the person I'm becoming and inadvertantly adopting the ways of my folks. Because when you don't know quite how to proceed, it is only natural to grasp tightly to the only knowledge you have. In my case, that which was imparted unto me by the people who had a hand in raising me.
 
A couple of days ago, completely subconciously, I said to Ryan as he left: Hey! Remember to keep in touch with the Dutch!
 
Call me. Let me know where you are. Tell me you're okay.
*****
 
Last week I wrote about the time I've been spending in high schools and how much of the memories I have of the place are mirror images of what still exists in those buildings today. The people, the smells: they're all the same. More and more, I feel the cycle. The way we each roll through, land on our feet and find the next hoop to jump through, hopping on the next cycle.
 
Everything I've ever done, someone has done before me. Every feeling I've ever had, someone else felt before me.
 
There are natural progressions, moving on from one stage to the next.
 
A couple of days ago, I was walking through Kohls, which if you haven't been in any stores recently, has exploded with Christmas cheer. A bit early, if you ask me, but they didn't. Anyway, I cruised through the ornament section and I found myself looking for something special. Not that I knew what special thing I was prowling for, but I was on the hunt for something out of the ordinary. Something like that ornament, that special favorite ornament, that decorated my family's tree every year.
 
*The ornament in question was made to look like a measuring cup, tipped on its side. A three-dimensional scene of a mama mouse putting freshly baked cookies on the table for a couple of baby mice filled the inside of the cup. Finally, there was a tiny hole on the back in which you could insert a tiny twinkle light, coloring the entire scene with whatever light you'd chosen. I liked red, myself.*
 
If I remember anything about Christmas, it is this ornament. And I found myself, in the aisles of Kohls, imagining the children that I will have and hoping that they would have a similar memory. I wanted to find that special ornament. Not the same one, of course, I recognize defeat before it even occurs, but something with similar, with the same kind of memories just waiting to be attached to it.
 
And I knew, here I am, on the newest cycle of my life. I have officially considered creating a future for someone other than myself.
 
Cycles completed:
I did the high school thing, graduated and waited for the next cycle to make itself known.
I went to college, dated my first "serious" boyfriend and cycled on to feeling like a grown- up.
 
I met the man who changed me forever.
The man who committed to completing every single new cycle in our lives together.
 
I graduated from college and got my first real job.
 
Cycle. Cycle.Cycle. Now here I am, and for the first time in a good number of years, acquainting myself with a new cycle.
It's a cycle that whispers softly, you are an adult. That question that everyone asks you when you're in kindergarten, what do you want to do when you grow up, you're there, babe. You're already there. So what will you do?
 
What will you do?
*****
 
(To be continued.)

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