Sunday, August 25, 2013

Parents


Biological parents consist of the male who sired the child and the female who gave birth to the child. In all human societies, the biological mother and father are both responsible for raising their young.
I had a mother and a father of course or I wouldn’t be writing this. Here they are. They were the typical mother and father of the ‘50s.
I don’t remember any special names used like “nana” or “pop”. I may have called them “mommy” and “daddy” when young, but for the most part they were “mom” and “dad”. They were never George and Marguerite. Never.
They were my and my brother’s parents in a little house on a corner of a busy intersection. The house next door had parents, as did most of the neighborhood. Each house looked the same with green lawns cut on Saturday, trimmed hedges, washed cars and television antennas. All the kids went to local schools and on Sunday went to church.
All my friends had parents that looked the same as mine. The father would work during the week and the mother would stay home and care for the house and the children. We would all take summer vacations, go to camp, and celebrate Christmas the same.
These two people had a different adventure before they became parents. Growing up a few houses apart in a small North Carolina town, he went to college and then became a local rock star of the time picking her to be his singer. The two traveled north and west before getting married in Kansas. After modeling in Chicago and dances in New York, the war started and the band broke up. My parents never really discussed those times.
There was some early years that my brother remembers better than me, but by the time I was aware enough to understand what was going on, I was obeying my parents. I would go to school, hang up my clothes, make up my bed, and go to my room when guest arrived.
Looking at photos of my parents it looks like they were happy together. I have no idea, but the stayed together. All of my friend’s parents stayed together. It wasn’t until high school that I realized some parents don’t. 
For the most part, these were good people. They provided shelter, clothing, food, and lots of toys with little requirements of their children. They may have had political opinions or cultural values, but I don’t remember being taught or persuaded to follow them. When they were growing up at the turn of the century, there were dirt backyards filled with live chickens and covered in chewing tobacco spit. Things like electricity, automobiles, and telephones were invented in their early years.
My dad was a fairly quiet man. He was well known around town for his entertainment background and connections with the leaders of the community and in the church. He would bring home banquets for family gatherings, pick the ticks off his dog, paint a little shed over and over again, and watch black and white westerns while eating ice cream.
My mother enjoyed the limelight but the life of a housewife didn’t offer much, so she started playing golf at the country club and became famous again. At home she would stay in the kitchen, even though she wasn’t much of a cook. Coffee and cigarettes were her daily diet.
Then I found out that some parents don’t want to be parents, so they leave. Now making a child, from what I’ve seen, is a life-changing experience, but responsibility is what it is. There were some alternative options, but back in the day, it wasn’t talked about.
This isn’t about me; it is about these two people. One from a small family and one from a big family, they traveled through most of their lives together. 
In the history books, they did a pretty good job. I think my brother will agree.

1 comment:

Art said...

a nice missive!