Let’s Hear It For…My Parents?!


Marriage is penalty for shoplifting in some countries. ~from “Wayne’s World”

If, faithful readers, you’ve been wondering what I’ve been up to these past few days, the answer is twofold. I’ve been scrounging everything from aluminum cans to old baseball cards trying to save up a bit of money for an unexpected vacation next month. I’ve also been away from home and thus able to mull over a lot of things in my head. Like whether Elvis is still alive, or which type of Big League Chew is really the best, and how I wound up so lucky when it comes to parents.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. My parents? You mean, those ultra-square products of the 1950s I couldn’t wait to get away from when I went to college? Yep, as it turns out, “those” parents.

Funny things happen when I really look around and consider my blessings. I have two parents who are a) still alive, b) still married and as much in love as two 50-somethings can be, c) who love me as I am. That’s a rarity among Gen X kids, many of whom have gnarled family trees filled with divorces, remarriages, and confusing step-parent nomenclature. My parents are pretty much like Ozzie and Harriet minus the boring side, or Homer and Marge minus the dysfunctionality. Dad went to work for years (he’s now retired) and brought home the bacon; Mom stayed at home with me and provided invaluable support at school. You know, the kind of family they used to make sitcoms about way back when.

My mom had a mod jumpsuit like this, I think

In the past I’ve made it a point not to talk about my family too much. Maybe it was to protect their privacy. But maybe I just thought of them as too boring for good writing material. They know I’m a writer, and I suppose they encourage it in the way one might encourage a weekend golfer or flag football player. Today I’m breaking that taboo. Mom and Dad deserve a post all their own because of how much they’ve done for me.

It could have been different, too. My life could have, but for a stroke of chance, been like that of one of my fellow Gen X cousins. One grew up with a deadbeat dad and a revolving door of stepfathers and mom’s boyfriends. Needless to say she didn’t wind up too well. Another’s dad was the victim of the downturn of industry and struggled financially. I, with my “square” parents, never even had to stop to consider that any of this could have happened to me. It didn’t. Dad worked a lot but he always took an active interest in my schoolwork and extracurriculars. And he didn’t care that I was a perpetual tomboy more interested in cars and football than cooking and Barbies. Mom was, well, Mom. There isn’t really enough to say about how much she did for me. Like her mother before her, she stood quietly and heroically in the background, her accomplishments not always fully recognized.

My favorite childhood book, for good reason
I’ve come to see that there are a hell of a lot of screwed-up families in the world. Maybe one or both parents are alcoholic or abusive. Maybe they’re divorced and at odds with one another, or like to go to Vegas to blow all their money. Tolstoy sure had it right about unhappy families all being unhappy in their own way. Happy families seem to be rare in our me-first society. They certainly don’t make for interesting TV episodes or movies. Not to mention they take a hell of a lot of work and commitment from both sides.
I’m not sure what I did to merit having such a good family, in the end. I’m adopted, and, as the saying goes, they chose me. I didn’t have any say in the matter. Those parents I wouldn’t have been caught dead with at age 14 or so? I’m not going to trade them for anything.
Just don’t tell them I said any of this. They’ll think I’m going sentimental in my early middle age.

A happy 4-legged family

Enjoyed this post? Be sure to click “Like” and subscribe to P&Q. Feel free to drop a line to the author at wikusandmurdock@yahoo.com

~ by Howlin' Mad Heather on September 14, 2011.

4 Responses to “Let’s Hear It For…My Parents?!”

  1. Great post today thanks for sharing.

    Check out these Fun Family Activities

  2. Such a nice post. I don’t know if you will show it to your parents, but I bet they would be very touched to read it. I’m glad they chose you!

  3. Aww, s great post. I’m one of those divorcee kids… a cold sting that still screws me up at times, I must say.

  4. I’m also a generation x kid from a 2-parent household… I wonder why I’m so messed up?
    😀 I think my mom had the same jumpsuit!
    Thanks for sharing.

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abandonen toda esperanza aquellos que entren aqui


You - philosophical, thoughtful, witty. Me - still thinks fart jokes are funny. We should DEFINITELY get together!

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