Better a tree than a hunchback, dear, and if you don’t pay attention to your posture, that’s what you’ll turn into.
Reading these words in Margaret Atwood‘s The Blind Assassin triggered a memory that took me right back to being 10 years old, taller, I think, than anyone in my fifth grade class. Vaguely, I remember hunching my shoulders, stooping, to appear the same height as my classmates, especially the boys who, if memory serves me correctly, were shorter than most of the girls.
Stooping must not have been well received in my family because someone, my aunt, mother or grandmother, said often, “If you don’t hold your shoulders up, you are going to grow into that position.” At the time those words fell on deaf ears. I wasn’t thinking about later, only the present, and I didn’t like being the tallest in my class.
When did my attitude change? One day, my aunt and I were on a bus and a youngish, attractive woman got on. She was stooped, whether by nature or accident who knows. My aunt whispered in my ear, “That’s the way you’re going to look if you don’t stand up straight.” Well, that did it, no more hunching over for me no matter who I was taller than!
Today, I am a tree, not stooped or taller than most people, but having been reminded so many times to stand up straight, I’m a stickler for good posture. As my girls and hubby well know, I’m often guilty of telling them not to slump. Guess what? Their ears are as deaf to that advice as mine were at 10.
Just wondering, what childhood pointers have stayed with you over the years?
By the way, The Blind Assassin is one of the most beautifully crafted books I have read in a long time. Put it on your reading list.
i love your thoughts, so jump right in and share yours