When the holidays roll around I think a lot about my childhood...because we all know I am incredibly self centered. As a young child I was obsessed with knowing more about my parents lives as ‘not parents‘. Now as an adult and a parent I realize that they didn’t really have much to hide…they were too busy listening to me babble on for hours at a time and constantly entertaining my Attention Deficit Poster Child brother.
I used to think a lot about them when I was falling asleep or when I was daydreaming. I had strange video that would play in my mind, a ‘vision‘ of my parents, ‘Before Me’.
My dad is in a class room. He was in college when I was born, so maybe I had this vague interest in what he was like during that time.
He is seated at an old fashioned desk, lit by the sepia tones that my mind applies to this vision, faded orange and brown colors as if my dad was living in one of the weathered and much fingered photos that live in memory boxes stored under beds and in closets.
He is wearing a wide collared plaid shirt, rolled up messily at his elbows. He is lean, stretched out, reclining back in a desk that seems too small for him, although he is not a large man. He is lazily thumbing a tattered copy of Walden, a thick text book is propped up in his lap, his pen in his mouth, his fat mouth that matches mine. I would suppose in a classroom setting there should be other people around him, but I don’t see anyone else.
His dark hair flops into one eye and he runs his fingers back through it, thick hair although it is already receding at the top of his furrowed brow. His eyes glance around the room from time to time and I catch a glimpse of his chocolate eyes before they stray back to the book in front of his face. He is balancing expertly, he is boyish and strong. His jeans are beat up and holey, he has not a care in the world.
The vision of my mother is different, for she is in full color, like new digital color. She is sitting on the floor of a room that my mind manufactured as being appropriately decorated for the mid 70’s and cutting out photos from magazines. She’s young, maybe 12 or 13 and when she stops to look at the scraps she has carefully extracted you can see her red cheeks, her thin lips spread across her face in an adorable sheepish grin. I imagine that she is thinking about boys, music or something delightful that happened to her the last time she was at her grandparent’s house.
She is very thin but her face is round and full. Her hair is light blonde, feathered away from her forehead, her eyes are hazel and shiny. She reminds me of a new baby bunny, naive and unsure but bouncy and excited. The vision runs in a loop but the main section ends with her cleaning up her clippings and the scissors carefully tucking everything away into the drawer of a small white desk. She lays down on her bed and holds tight to a large stuffed bear and sings Martha My Dear to herself as she drifts into the end of my mind’s eye and off of my radar.
I have always adored my parents and as time goes on I don’t necessarily understand them, but I always know that they are nearest and dearest to my ever bursting heart.
Happy Holidays Daddy and Momma. Happy Holidays Friends!