Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News
Kalona, Iowa

Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News

April 20, 2017 Column - 04-20-2017
Article Pages -- as published on the The Kalona News website.

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It’s said one of every five children can, at an early age, expect to develop “growing pains”. The term partially describes a generally painful muscular expansion that can also appear at older ages; even affect a child in later life.

When I was ten I complained my legs hurt so much I couldn’t walk down to the creek any more to get the cows at milking time; they really did hurt a little, but my ruse was to secure a pony. Aunt Mary who just happened to be visiting with Uncle Harry and Aunt Reka, at whose home I often ‘hung out’, diagnosed: “Them’s growing pains; walk ‘em out”. To better understand why she seemed decidedly uncaringly, you need to know she was still ‘mad’ at me. I had sometime earlier asked her why she had such a plain name as ‘Mary’. (After all her sister Aunt Reka had a much more ‘exotic’ sounding name.) I quickly learned that was not a smart thing to say. (The knack of diplomacy had to come to me later.)

A few years went by and my ‘growing pains’ seemed to plague me, appearing here and there, never exactly going away in spite all my aunt’s recommended walking now long behind me.

Aunt Mary for some reason was still ‘visiting’; I guessed it was because she was Aunt Reka’s sister (although they never seemed very related temperament wise.)

She suggested I’d out grow my pains if I’d “eat more good food and complain less.” She really had a good memory. Uncle Harry chimed in that my mouth was the only thing he’d ever seen growing and it was “getting bigger”. Perhaps that was because I was a gangly tomboy, rambunctious, and not very ‘chummy’ (unlike my cute tousle-haired same-age cousin who could cuddle her way into a grizzle bear den).

I wasn’t even sure he knew or remembered my first name; always called me a “rattlebox”; and never seemed to give a hoot I was around except when he wanted to play checkers. Unfortunately, I learned too soon I was a whole lot better at the game than he. Aunt Reka, always caring and thoughtful, but not very helpful, suggested I let him win. I didn’t know why I should. I was better… Nevertheless, I begrudgingly managed to learn how ‘not to win’ and eventually became very good at it. To this day I don’t much like checkers.

As I now traverse this part of my life’s cycle, I’ve come to a conclusion some things never go away and one of them is the effects of ‘growing pains’; that although they now have a somewhat different look they are still pretty much the same as when Aunt Mary suggested I needed to walk a lot and eat good food. I just wish Aunt Mary was still here so I could agree with her and very definitely let her know her name is beautiful.

It’s good to learn ‘growing pains’ can eventually blossom into something rewarding upon one’s arrival at maturity.

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