Remember The Rotary Dial Telephone?
Now That, Is A Telephone
Seeing Life Through The Eyes Of A Child
I was sitting on the kitchen table, my feet dangling with little more than an inch of free space between the chair and my toes. Mom was standing beside me; she smiled and giggled as she tried to teach me how to use the telephone. It was tan in color, the old-fashioned rotary dial kind that was as big as a Kleenex box and hung on the wall. With much concentration, I placed my pointer finger inside the little hole on the dial. I was carful to put my finger on the right holes, otherwise it wouldn’t work right. Mommy told me the numbers one by one; then I dialed, pushing and pulling each little circle to the end where the little stopper was. After I was finished with each number, I let my finger out and it spun all the way back to where it was at before.
“ Okay, now listen for it to ring.” Mommy told me.
“ Am I done picking the numbers?” I asked.
“ Yes, now put it up to your ear and listen for it to ring.” I held the telephone up to my ear. Startled by the scary buzzing noise, my eyes opened wide as I quickly stood up on the chair just under my dangling feet and hung the phone right back up on the wall where it came from! Mom stood in amazement, a puzzled look on her face.
“What did you do that for?”
“Cuz it was buzzing!” She laughed and began to explain to me that what I heard was the sound of the phone ringing. I guess I thought it should sound the same in the earpiece as it did when it rang on the wall.
“Okay, let me, let me do it again, okay?” Mom retold me all the numbers and finally, once again, I was waiting for the funny noise in the earpiece; then the lady said,
“Hello?” I looked at Mom with a face full of excitement, not knowing at all what I was supposed to say.
“Hi.” Then I laughed a little girl giggle, and stood up on the chair again.
“Do you want to come over for a cup of coffee?” I heard my mommy say this when she was on the phone all the time, so I thought I could say that too;
“Well, who is this?”
“It’s me…It’s Lori Rundegin, hi.”
I was four years old when my mom taught me how to use the telephone. I was so excited, and maybe, even a little bit afraid. When I sit back and think of things I did as a child, I can’t help but to crack a smile, remembering how excited I’d become at the most mundane tasks. The mere thought of using a telephone was so big: it was huge, it was an event! In the innocent eyes of a child, everything is an event.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to travel through life with the curiosity and expectations of a child? What would life be like if I, as an adult, were to sit at the dinner table, then when no one expected it, I’d stand up on top of my chair and try to eat dinner while bending over to reach down to my food?… My Andy was really good at doing that when he was four and five. Wouldn’t it be a gas to go sit in a big puddle out in the driveway, just to see how deep it is. When you’re a kid, life is so full of fun. The excitement starts when the sun comes up; it stops when your eye lids become too exhausted.
The uninhibited innocence of a child is contagious; yet non of us adults would ever really go out of our way to plop down in a mud puddle…I don’t think. The thoughts may be enticing, but the genuine actions leave most of us as they go into automatic hibernation around the age of thirteen. The outrageous imagination somehow takes a long nap, life becomes more serious, more intense, more planned.
When my childish inhibitions went into automatic hibernation, I tried to grow up overnight. I wanted to be sixteen, yet, three more years would pass before I saw that milestone. I was smarter than my parents, and so were all my friends. I fell in love, my young life revolved around a boy; that boy broke my heart.
Life, in general, is nothing more than a learning experience. We come into this world with no recollection of where or how we became. We are nurtured from our parents or guardians of whom we are completely reliant on; without the help of another human being, we are doomed from the start. We learn throughout our individual lives, and are molded into what we become. Fortunately, the good Lord has given us the gift of choice. No matter who has raised us or what we have been taught, as we continue to grow and mature, we’re able to make our own decisions. It’s then when we finally become who we really are.
Sometimes I think it's only right to never let that uninhibited persona go into hibernation. We all need the excitement of a child’s mind from time to time. We need the wonder and the amazement that comes from the intellect of a preschooler. The heaviness we feel from the world that surrounds us can be lightened with just a bit of childish humor.
It was Mom’s friend Shirley that I called that day; she wasn’t able to come over for a cup of coffee, but Mom and I paid her a visit. As she served Mom a mug of Sanka, she brought me a glass of apple juice, and a cookie. I have no memory of what they talked about as I studied my cookie. I'd take tiny bites, then look at the teeth marks I'd left. I'd place it down on the table and twist it around; I'd pretend it was a car and push it forward, then back. I'll always remember the pleasant feeling of spending time with my mommy, and Shirley, my mentor.
I say: “Hail to the one who is least uninhibited, for that one will have the most fun!”
Life is short…hang on to good memories…
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