First, I will be absenting myself from the interwebs for a few days. Jane's strange hives have gone away, but the three of us are as coldy as can be. Household maintenance has been spiraling out of control, and we've barely been out for days. Rather, the only outings we've had in the last few days have been to urgent care, and yesterday Jane and I drove in to Costco and the Fred, as my nephew says, for some essentials. I'm not sure which was more harrowing. So this afternoon we are stopping by the library (my love, my own) to pick up some holds which have finally come through, and then on to that rejuvenating spa town, Portland. We will be lodging at the renowned establishment Chez Mes Parents, where we will enjoy fine cuisine, constant lattes, and cable television (playoffs). Not to mention the beautiful home and delightful personalities of our hosts.
Which brings me to the more important part of this post. Yesterday was my parents' anniversary. Even though I'm rotten at telling them so, and being organized enough to manage a card or gift, this holiday is very significant to me. As a child, I always felt I was different, and I was, as most children are. But I also felt my family was different, and indeed our life was distinctly apart from that of many of my peers. But at some age or other, certainly before adolescence, I understood that it wasn't just our life that was unique, it was my parents. I remember it--we were driving a playmate home, someone I didn't see much or know well, and she started talking about her parents' divorce. Even though my parents are both previously divorced, and my father has two children from his first marriage, who are very much a part of my life, I think I had to ask what this meant. What could it mean, when a daddy and a mommy don't make up a family any more? And I considered it, and decided this was not a danger for me. Now, children don't, or they ought not, claim complete familiarity with their parents' personal affairs. There was no way, I see now, that I could really have known whether or not I was in danger of having my family divided. But I saw enough to be certain that my parents still loved each other. And as I began paying attention to the other parents and couples in my life, I saw that this conclusion was by no means an easy one to reach. Most parents I saw seemed more like Larry and Balki. Or like Bert and Ernie. You know, chums. Or worse, they seemed cold, indifferent, two people totally apart but under the same roof. I knew there was tension sometimes, but my parents betrayed their affection, their admiration, their respect, and their love for each other. When at slumber parties all we little girls talked about our dreams for the future, or about the models of love around us, I always said, "My parents are still in love with each other." And this statement always elicited wows.
I didn't mean to brag about it, and I don't still. What I do mean to say is that witnessing my parents' relationship is what gave me my uncrushable faith in the married couple. And no matter how much I've despaired over the year of attaining such a match, in my heart I have kept the faith, because I have SEEN!
So on their anniversary day, I have them to thank doubly. First, for getting married and having me so that I exist. Second, for modeling the sort of relationship to which anyone may wish to aspire; one that filled my home life with warmth and joy, then and now. Because without this