Thursday, July 26, 2012

I Am a Psychologist's Daughter

I remember taking a test when I was 4 years old.  My dad gave me a piece of 8 1/2 x 11" yellow paper with questions on both sides.  I can only recall one of them:  "Draw a circle, like this."  Next to the words was an example image of a circle.  I drew it as roundly as I could, and after I closed the curve, I thought, "I'm going to add some dots and turn this circle into a cookie."  And so I did.  I don't know what my dad thought of my drawing, since I didn't tell him about my cookie idea, but looking back, I think two things:  1) I really should open a bakery, and 2) It behooves psychologists to have lots of kids; they can use them as test subjects for years.

Perhaps Tolstoy's most famous line is the opening of Anna Karenina:  "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."  I'm going to respectfully disagree with Tolstoy on this point.  To me, families have particular activities they do that give them happy identities.  There are sports families, musical families, performance families, science and engineering families, funny families, etc.  My family is a talkative family.  We talk and talk and talk.  A lot.  (That should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me well, but actually, I'm one of the least talkative ones of the bunch, if you can believe it.)

The thing we talk about the most?  Psychology.  This is where my dad's profession comes into play.  His job didn't stop at the office.  It didn't stop at giving my siblings and me development tests.  It made it's way into nearly every family discussion.  Even now, I find myself in the middle of conversations in which at least a few of us are analyzing my parents' relationship or another siblings' self-awareness.  Sure, this family reunion is proving to be full of fun activities, such as swimming and talent shows, but it's also full of the thing that makes me feel most at home: conversation.  I don't think everyone in my family appreciates that (as conversation can quickly morph into argument, if you're not careful), but I love it.  It feels familiar and smart and interesting.  I feel sorry for families who don't have hours-long conversations with each other.


Thing I'm thankful for: Aqua Sphere swimming goggles!

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