Sunday, March 6, 2011

In which I get my four-year-old heart broken

I have some grave news about pacifiers. They're not for 37-year-olds.

I remember the day I stopped using one very well. It was my fourth birthday, and my father was tucking me in, and we agreed that I was a big girl now, too big for pacifiers. He turned off the light and I curled up to sleep, feeling both proud and completely lost.

My dad must have been so relieved, he'd been trying to get me to quit for quite some time. Once he took me up on deck of the boat back to Trondheim from the windswept little peninsula where he worked as a teacher. He wanted me to throw the pacifier in the water, so I would know that it was really, truly gone. Eager to please my dad, I plucked it out of my mouth and let it go over the rail. I watched with mounting horror as my pacifier, my love, was swallowed by the churning wake, so thoroughly that it didn't even re-surface before the wake was lost in darkness. Of course I wailed all the way to Trondheim, a good ninety minutes, and our first stop when we reached the city was a pharmacist's.

And now, having watched the stars in Magnus's eyes whenever his darling 'mem' is brought out, I was convinced that I remembered correctly: Nothing in the whole world could be more comforting and soothing.

So I tried it. It was dry, rubbery, awkward and not a little bit exhausting.

Which is not to say that the hole in my four-year-old heart is mended. Not at all. On the contrary, even. I guess some memories are best left alone.

UPDATE: Magnus would like to point out that mothers are clueless.



Line said...

The only thing I remember about my pacifier was that it was red. If there was any drama it is now lost in time.

My big love was the teddybear Fentle. Still love him.

I wonder which of Magnus' toys will stay with him until he is a grown man (man!), either in his head or in a box in his bedroom.

Bethany Mason said...

I don't really remember my dummy but I do remember sucking my two fingers - I now have a massive over-bite that braces did not cure and constantly regret it.

Hello Hoobubby / Alexandra said...

That amazes me you can remember your own pacifier moments. I have no memories going back that far it seems. You seem like such a dedicated mother! Btw, I see Book Thief on your sidebar- my favorite book. I wish he'd come out with another soon!

Mara Rae said...

I found your blog because I'm an aspiring author, but then I saw you had a post about pacifiers and I had to comment, since I just wrote one too. I also got rid of my pacifier when I was four! Good to know I wasn't the only person who had it for so long! Looking forward to reading your book :)

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