Wednesday, August 15, 2012

From Frisbee to Boomerang

I admit it. I am a Word Nerd. I like the sounds they make when spoken. I like the way they feel as they roll around in my mouth. I studied Latin in high school and college, partly to fulfill , and the dead don't talk. But even more because I loved dissecting words, breaking them down to their roots. Vocabulary, etymology, grammar - I'm a sucker for it all. So when I heard that this cycle of GBC is about transitions, I had two reactions. First, I thought about the word. "Trans" is easy - it is the root of lots of words having to do with crossing - and "sition" I figured was from "situ", which means place. Sure enough, the etymology dictionaries define "transition" as "a crossing over", from the Latin root transitio or transire.

The second thing I did when I heard the theme of this cycle was to laugh. Hard. Because I am the Queen of Transitions. Like Madonna, I like to reinvent myself every few years. I might be able to do always, but forever, no way. And because at the moment, I am going through possibly my most major transition to date.

Five months ago, I experimented with flying, using my attic ladder as a launch pad. I did fine in the air, but the landing, not so much. I now have an official card for airport security, to show TSA the bolt, metal plate and screws that the surgeon installed to put my Humpty Dumpty hip back together again. Three months of absolutely no weight on the leg, then six weeks of partial weight before transitioning to full weight, normal person walking.

That, however, is not the "transition" that made me laugh. Though I did try to find humor in the situation and made Facebook "Tales from the Crip" posts. My friends seemed to enjoy them - like when I said that I overheard my parents outside my door deciding that if a tornado was coming, they would just toss me in the bathtub - with wine I hoped. The posts also helped me feel connected to the world beyond my bedroom walls. But I digress (from the Latin dis (apart) + gradior (walk).

For the past four and one-half months, I have been convalescing at my parents' home. And over the course of that time, a seed (hopefully not one that will germinate into something prickly) was planted: that we make this living arrangement permanent. For a lot of reasons, it makes sense. I have underlying health issues, and getting even a little help with everyday stuff we hope will reserve energy for me to meet a friend for lunch or -gasp- get back into serious writing mode. On the other side, I can help my parents as they get old and decrepit, and I can take away the burden my mother has been carrying for several years- being my Fridge Fairy and worrying every time she pulls into my driveway that she'll find me dead.

But it is a big transition. Huge. Ginormous. I have lived alone since I graduated from college. I have a house that I love, a beautiful, tranquil nest. I abhor clutter while my mother is a candidate for "Hoarders Lite" or "When Collecting Goes Wild".  My father can be a real pain in the patooty. Living with my parents was not anywhere in my life plan. Yet, I am comfortable that this transition is the right decision. 
So, once again, I cross over, reinvent myself, from an independent adult to boomerang kid. Some of the synonyms for "transition" are transformation, evolution, and, a personal favorite as I picture a caterpillar becoming a butterfly, metamorphosis. Going bat sh*t crazy is not on the list, but I'll keep you posted. And save for another day my scatological question of how/why bat guano is crazier than other excrement.


Amy Bourret is the author of Mothers & Other Liars,
a Target Breakout Book. She has given up flying as a hobby.


  1. That is a big transition but sounds like the best thing. So sorry about your accident and I'm praying for no tornadoes in your neck of the woods.

  2. Wow! That is a really big transition, Amy! Keep us posted on how things unfold.

  3. Talk about transitions! Heal quickly, Amy.

  4. Thanks guys. This one will be interesting.

  5. I love the word "ginormous." I think there's a book lurking in those transitions. Stay on the ground just a bit longer until you heal!