I’ve often wondered if bipolar is the normal state of childhood. Since adulthood, I’ve never experienced the wild exhilaration nor the depths of despair I felt as a child. As Christmas approached, I’d be wild with anticipation: excitement at Christmas lights, sparkles of snow on Christmas Cards, and the trip to the woods for a Christmas tree had me near hysteria. By the time I was hustled off to bed Christmas Eve, sleep seemed impossible. It seemed I’d lie awake for hours, peeking often for a hint of light through the curtains, sure morning must be here. Finally, we’d wake Mother and Daddy for the most glorious day of the year. Inevitably, in the way of greedy children, once the joy of dismantling all that had been carefully prepared, I looked at the doll, stuffed monkey, rocking horse, tea set, red sweater, plastic box of barrettes and pearl bracelet from Grandma scattered among the wrappings and thought, “Is this all? I asked Santa for a pony, not a rocking horse! I hated dolls and tea sets and had never voluntarily worn a sweater nor brushed my hair.”
I was devastated, feeling I couldn’t go on, till Daddy told me to give Rocky, the Rocking Horse a try. He was a wonder on springs I could get some real action out of. Rocky and I were quickly moved to the porch where we could bounce without moving the furniture. Monkey and I must have ridden Rocky ten-thousand miles before I outgrew him. Oh yes, I eventually left Monkey out in the yard for the dogs to chew up. Mother found his dismembered body later but never told me the sad tale. I thought the doll and tea-set were a total waste till one of the neighbors died and I found out about funerals. I ditched the dishes and the box made a great coffin. We had a wonderful service for the doll. A lovely time was had by all.