I remember when I was a child, one of my favourite songs on one of my favourite (because it was mine) records was sung by Kermit's nephew, Robin.
There isn't any other stair quite like it ...
I might have been five years old when I fell in love with it. I remember climbing the stairs in the house, counting them one by one, and then finding the exact middle.
I remember being sad that there were an even number of stairs, and so there wasn't a halfway step to sit upon. I compromised by declaring the middle two steps the halfway point and put my butt on one of them and my feet on the other.
The halfway point is a point I have found myself often over the years. Some intentionally, some accidentally.
I'm not at the bottom, I'm not at the top ...
I don't remember the incident, but I remember being told about it. My babysitter told my mother that one day in school some older boys started fighting. Apparently I went and stood in the middle of them and tried to talk them out of fighting. Again, I don't remember the incident. But, it sounds like something I would do.
So this is the stair where I always stop.
I've stood in the middle of other situations as well. I've had friends who disliked each other but maintained their friendship with me. Sometimes one of them would force me to choose sides (I always chose the side that didn't ask me to choose -- because if you choose not to decide you still have made a choice.) I've also had friends who were perfectly fine with me staying in the middle.
Halfway up the stairs isn't up and it isn't down.
Sometimes I get tired of being in the middle. No one ever notices the person in the middle. They notice the leader. They notice the person pulling up the rear. But, the hard working man in the middle goes unrecognized. I lost a job because I got tired of telling people in a different department how to perform one of their duties and instead let it go not realizing that this time I would be noticed. This time I would be the person to get the recognition. I should have known better because --
It isn't in the nursery, it isn't in the town.
I have responsibilities. I'm sometimes irresponsible. I give help to my son. I get help from my father. I have the same ponytail I had when I was young, but it is streaked with the gray of age. I never developed a taste for coffee. I never lost my taste for Pop-Tarts. My job involves manipulating thousands of dollars of other people's money and when I go to it I take a Hello Kitty lunchbox.
And all sorts of funny thoughts run 'round my head.
I'm in the middle of my life. So much has come before. So much is still to come. But, right now is neither before nor after. It is Now. And, if I need a new car Now, if I need a new job Now, if I need a new routine Now, then Now is the time to do it. I can't do it yesterday. I might not do it tomorrow.
And, I know the perfect place to make such changes. A place that was special when I was young and deserves to be special when I become old. And, if there is an even number of stairs in my house, I'll make do. Because the stair isn't missing. It isn't up, down, in the nursery, in the town.
It isn't really anywhere. It's somewhere else instead.