I left my book at home and had nothing to read on the train to work the other day. I was beside myself. What do I read? I looked over the newsaper the guy was reading next to me. Ugh car racing. So I was left looking around the carriage and my imagination got the better of me. One unshaven guy with a messy crop of oily hair in a black shiny coat looked like an Underbelly crim. He caught me looking at him and gave a sly grin. Ugh. I looked away and to a young guy on his mobile phone. Just realised his annoying chatter and pitch was distracting those immediately around him. I longed for the upcoming ‘no service’ tunnel for his call to abruptly end.
Two noisy kids fighting with their mother’s attention on her mobile phone sat in the seat in front of me. She was Facebooking by the looks of it.
Looking around I wondered what stories all of these people had. What makes them who they are. What will they do in their lives, who will these people become and how will their lives finish up?
I twirled my engagement and wedding rings for a while wondering about my life so far and what makes me.
I wondered about the people around me and what makes them who they are. Is it their parents, their grandparents, their social class, their jobs or their friends? Perhaps all of that makes us who we are. But then, I have heard of stories like a girlfiend of mine who I will call Beth whose mum in the 70s treated her children badily. The girls had to have long hair. They were not allowed to have friends over. Beth told me once her mum didn’t want to be a mum. So as a result the kids were all eager to leave home as early as possible. Her dad on the other hand was beautiful and thoughtful. When the nasty mum was out for a number of hours, he had the kids bring their friends into the house. What a mix for parents. Still amazes me that two different people stick together. I asked my Beth once why did her dad stay with her mum as they seem so different. She replied it was just habit. Not much love these days. Beth is such a wonderful woman. She is tough on her children but Beth and her husband are like two peas in a pod with their love for their kids.
The train jolted and I came back to reality and looked up to see Underbelly man looking at me. Ughhh I quickly started looking into my handbag pretending to be looking for something. Ahh, there is my compact powder!
I continued my reflection and this time on my parents and what I have taken away from their parenting. I’ve written about my parent’s parenting style and I think I am alright. I just hope I have passed on some good traits to our kids. I hope we have been giving our kids a balanced and loving early part of their lives. At least they don’t want to leave home yet. I am thinking of Claire when I type this. She was to finish uni last year but decided to do extra this year. At this rate and with her going off overseas in under a month, I am not sure when she will leave home. I am so still jealous of her and my parents holiday coming up soon.
Dad on reflection told my brother and I how as a child he and his sibblings were never allowed to talk at dinner table. Dinner were always quiet except for the requests to pass the bowl of peas or the salt. Whereas our dinners with him and mum were always rauctious conversations, debates and stories of our day just had. Dad always made a point of starting conversations over dinner that would spill out into the kitchen when the dishes were done. I love these conversations and banter and I have made an effort to bring those into our family at dinner time too. No eating in front of the TV in our household.
The train jerked, shuddered and stopped. There was a collective sigh by everyone in the carriage. I jolted out of my day dream and I was still twirling my engagement and wedding rings. I felt someone looking at me, again. It was Underbelly man again. He looked at my face and down to my rings and I could see his smile melt away as he turned and looked out the window. Later when I got off the train and walked into work. I wondered what was Underbelly man’s story.
Do you ponder about what makes and shape your life? Or am I alone?