Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Childs' Perspective by Sarah Hoffman

My wife, Sue, sent out an e-mail asking for responses about Great Grandma Deamer. This is the response from my daughter Sarah, encompassing her entire view of the adult world around her as a child.

--- On Sun, 6/28/09, sarah hoffman wrote:

From: sarah hoffman
Subject: RE: Romancing the Road

Well, I remember:

-going through her photo albums and being jealous that she got to live through the 1910's, 20's, 30's, 40's, AND 50's, 60's, 70's. I was jealous because I think it would be cool to be able to say that I remember a time when there were no televisions. I sat on her living room floor facing her tv set considering the impact this must have had on someone who grew up without one. There was no PBS to babysit her generation.

-her knitting/crocheting miniature stockings for Christmas (that was her, right? I was really little so I am uncertain).

-her sitting on the couch at every Christmas eve party.

-that she referred to modern pop music as not music but "just beats".

-that she had a cat...and it was usually in hiding. For a while I didn't believe that there even was a cat.

-that her house and the long drive to it were both extremely creepy. I think the entirety of rural Pennsylvania is haunted. I've never been anywhere in PA outside of Philadelphia that didn't creep me out.

-I remember her being present at family picnics.

I don't remember much, really. Perhaps Keith and Shane were old enough to remember things more in detail. I was too short and too involved with things on the ground (toys, bugs, leaf piles) to really pay much mind to my relatives. As far as I was concerned they were grown-ups and lived several feet above me most of the time. Like upstairs neighbors, I only saw them in passing and for special events. For the most part this is how I perceived anybody taller than me for quite some time. I believe this state is called "childhood" but I'm unsure if that is exactly what was wrong with me for 11 years. I knew each adult as a concept.

Sue - Mommy - Food - Comfort - Nourishment

Robert - Daddy - Protector - Endless supply of information and Tales

Keith - Keithy - Big brother - protector - nerd

Shane - Shaney - little Big brother - guardian - martial artist

Grandma - lady that we visit alot (didn't realize I was related until I was like in 1st grade) - gives me cookies - I like her

Grandpa - really cool old guy with a stash of peanut butter cups - loves this woman we call grandma/takes care of her - seems pretty tired by us running around but we don't care we want more peanut butter cups!!!

Uncle "Mike" - guy who lives with that old couple we visit alot - seems rather unwell - somehow related to Tracy and Mikey

Tracey/Mikey - rug rats who live with those two old people who give us cookies

Gerusha (spelling?)/Melissa - teenagers.

Other cousins - other kids

Other aunts/uncles - grown ups who know mommy and daddy

"Grandma Deamer" - the chief/elder

Seth - this guy we see every once in a while with big hair who lives in Disney World!!!

Rose - the sweetest lady in the world - someone to strive to be like - a saint

"Mr. Ollie" - lives in an oxygen deprivation chamber with a bunch of birds - not somebody to strive to be like - somebody to attempt to understand so that emulation can be avoided

Steve and Ann(e) - plastic Disney action figures come to life

Ms. Sherry - the worst person in the world - a bitch - the devil

Ms. Lisa - pretty lady with two out of control sons

Eric and Anthony - evil twisted kids who couldn't get enough of hurting each other (they say "let boys be boys" but I draw the line at shooting at one another with a nail gun).

Ms. Samantha - trampy lady with pretty lingerie hanging in the bathroom

I think children's perceptions are pretty clear, though they may not always understand connections (such as how Tracy and Mikey were related to "Uncle Mike" didn't dawn on me until I was pretty far into elementary school. And I didn't put it together that "grandma" was my mom's mom until I was in 1st grade). But to a kid, none of that matters. What matters is the example set and how the child is treated. Every little thing an adult says and does in front of a child contributes to the child's opinion of them. In the adult world things are much simpler. Pretty lady = hired. In the kid world there is soooooooooooo much more to it. One wrong move and you've got a bawling kid on your hands.

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