Wednesday, August 8, 2007

I remember...

I must be in a nostalgic mood this week. I am remembering all sorts of small snippets from my childhood. Or what I remember as my "childhood". Has anyone seen my childhood? I seem to have lost it somewhere. Guess that's what happens when one gets married at 17 and starts having babies at 18. Not that I regret the babies - just the "starter marriage".

Anyway, back to the remembering. My sister Kathy reminded me this week that we used to have fruit for dessert every night. We thought it was a big deal. Canned fruit. Guess that was before packaged junk. We used to say "what's for fruit?" instead of "what's for dessert?" How funny.

So the photo above is Mother & Daddy - yes, I've always referred to them as "Mother" and "Daddy" - is that odd? And, yes, I was a 'Daddy's girl". I was the baby of the family. Mother was sick or gone most of the time. It was my father who cut my bangs, cooked pancake suppers and was so silly. Mother used to get so mad at him - "Leo, act your age!" or "you'll get the kids all wound up" That's OK -I know now she did the best she could do. I once wrote her a letter and said that I "forgave" her for all the seemingly injustices I had to endure. I forgave her?? Who did I think I was...What a jerk. A baby. And not in the good way...

Anyway, now for the good part. Actually the best part. My parents would stop jabbing at each other for just a while. Music from the 40's would come on the radio or at a wedding we were attending and they would dance. Not just dance - it was....MAGIC! They knew each other's steps -they fit into each other's embrace- they floated! Daddy had this little quick-step thing he'd do and Mother would not miss a beat. Smiling. Even laughing. Not arguing. Not nit-picking. It was magic.... I love the very thought of that. I'll hold that in my heart forever.

Saturday nights. Both sisters were probably out -Kathy on a date and Gerri with the horses. Larry was in the Marines or just married - not there. Anyway, I had the folks to myself. Lawrence Welk on the TV. Mother making "hor dourves" (saltines and either peanut butter or cheese) and I had my bath and my hair up in pink sponge rollers. In my jammies and robe. Going to church in the morning with Mother. Daddy would be in his undershirt and polyester pants and white-stocking feet- with his feet up on the footstool and his glasses resting down on his nose. Sometimes he'd have sardines or what we called "stinky cheese" with his crackers! Whoa!

But is was a time without fear. Without worry. My parents were together, no matter what. The world was slower and we had glimpses of the American dream, complete with saltines!

What we sometimes perceive as a "bad" childhood or "missing out childhood" is really the best childhood ever.

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Brandi said...

I loved my childhood! I look back alot and think of how lucky we all were. We had a dad who TRULY loved us, even if we wern't "biologicially" his. We were all healthy, and never got into too much trouble. Even when we didn't have alot of money, we still NEVER did without. And the best part? You never gave up on any of your kids, even when we didn't make you proud. You loved all 4 of us equally, and did a great job raising us. All 4 of your kids grew up to be responsable, caring adults, and have no one to thank but you and dad :)

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Pearl said...

Oh I love this post Colleen. When you write about your folks it reminds me of my childhood and my parents. I'm a Daddy's girl too! My mother was there, but very distant. I don't ever remember even one hug from her. Sad yes, but my Dad made up for it big time! I'm still spoiled rotten at 52.