Editor’s Note: Today is Veteran’s Day here in the US, a day we take the time to thank those brave soldiers who have served in our nation’s fine military and done their parts to preserve our freedom. My father served briefly, and today I take this moment to thank him for his years of service. In the blogging community, I’m aware of two bloggers who have served. Please take a moment to visit BrainRants and Gabriel and thank them for their service and dedication to our great nation. They are both great men, and have seen and done things that would probably have broken me. For that I admire them and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank them both for their service. I know my paltry words do no justice to the great deeds they have done, but I don’t know that any words can.
A majority of the most important things we learn in life we learn by the time we’re in kindergarten. Most everything we do from day to day is imbedded into us during those precious early years. How to walk. How to talk. How to feed ourselves. How to dress ourselves. How to tie our shoes. How to treat people. How to use the potty. Manners. I’m sure there are a lot of things that could be added to this list, but they’re things we do on a daily basis without paying much attention to them.
It’s funny how ingrained certain things become from our childhood. Certain things become inherent in us without making any conscious effort to do so. Habitual. Most of these things are important. Some of them are not.
I’ve recently discovered one of those habitual things that is of no importance whatsoever.
Don’t step on a crack or you’ll break your momma’s back.
I’m sure we all remember that game from our childhood. We’d waltz up and down our driveways and sidewalks as children chanting that particular line to ourselves while actively avoiding every single crack in the pavement. Of course, nothing ever happened if we did accidentally step on one of those dangerous cracks, at least to my knowledge. My mom is still alive and isn’t paralyzed so I can only surmise that this game was some sadistic trick played on us unsuspecting and naïve children.
It’s a five-minute walk from the parking lot at work to my office. During these lonesome strolls I find myself staring at the ground as a saunter along half-awake. And I’ve noticed recently that, without any deliberate decision to do so, I deftly sidestep every crack along my path. I’ll shorten my stride. I’ll lengthen it. I’ll angle my foot so the tip of my shoe doesn’t cross paths with one of those malevolent cracks. When I get about halfway to my office I notice I’m doing it, but still cannot make myself stop. The rest of my walk in is then spent pondering why I still avert these cracks and debating whether or not I should write a post about it.
I think the post debate can finally be laid to rest.
It’s amazing sometimes what my mind will hold on to. It puzzles me how I habitually fall into the childhood habit of lithely dodging cracks in the pavement with no mental effort made at all, yet I can often walk into a room and totally forget what the hell I went in there for. Or I’ll get home from the grocery store and realize I forgot to buy milk, something I buy every frickin’ week. Or worse, I’ll remember to buy the milk but leave it in the trunk. The mind is a mysterious enigma. At least, my mind is. I can’t attest to anyone else’s, but some of you guys make me wonder.
It’s all good, though. At least I know no matter how awful my memory becomes that I’ll avoid those dreaded cracks at all costs. Your back is safe, mom.
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