Home > Fun Childhood, My Dad, My Mom > The Time My Parents Did Cool Stuff

The Time My Parents Did Cool Stuff

November 7, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Let’s focus on the positive for a moment, shall we?

Yes, I DID have a happy childhood, but that doesn’t mean that crazy things didn’t happen every so often. Stories in my previous posts are all tongue-in-cheek, though still 100% true. What can I say, I enjoy poking fun. But let me take a moment to talk about the extraordinary good instead of the bizarre for once.

My Mom Can…

  • Write theater reviews for the Chicago Sun. It was one of her many careers! She also knows how to tell a good story, in addition to being a great writer.
  • Talk her way into writing manuals for diesel trucks, despite knowing nothing about truck engines.
  • Change careers like others change clothes, and somehow be awesome at them all. She’s done everything from directing plays to being a legal nurse consultant.
  • Give birth to both and me and my sister at home with zero drugs. We have two rather disturbing photo albums of these events.
  • Use vocabulary like it’s her job. You know most of those obscure words that nobody’s ever heard of during the National Spelling Bee? Words like gladiolus and foulard? She uses those in everyday sentences.
  • Cook like a professional chef. She’s even given my friend lessons on how to dismember chickens and gut/debone fish! Most everything I know about cooking I learned from her, though I’ve accepted I’ll never be a tenth as good.
  • Speak Italian, and some French. I can speak neither.
  • Play the piano and paint. We have Georgia O’Keeffe reproductions all over the house that my mom created, and we used to take piano lessons together when I was young.
  • Spout amusing colloquialisms, like, “That makes me sadder than a mud-covered fence.” You know, because it was just white-washed? Er, like in Tom Sawyer?
  • Do great voices while reading books. Together with my dad, my parents read to me any book of my choosing every night. This went on until I was almost a teenager, I think! It’s probably why I read so much to this day.
  • Hunt and fish and skin animals. She grew up on a farm, so it was a necessity rather than a sport. She said she always hated eating turtles, though. I ate rabbit last night at a restaurant and thought of her.
  • Insist on no censorship for her kids. My parents were together on this, and believed kids could handle more than society assumed. They were correct, and I was never scarred by watching rated R movies when I was young. Well, except for A Clockwork Orange. That one freaked me out pretty badly in middle school. Oh, Kubrick.
  • Comfort me back when I suffered from regular migraines. If you’d never had one of these, consider yourself lucky. My mom still gets these on the regular, by which I mean several times a week, lasting several days at a time. So essentially ALL the time.

My Dad Can…

  • Fix any piece of electronics, from any era. From Betamax and Laserdisc to a top of the line hard drive, he’s got you covered. Home theaters and electronics are hobbies of his, so he’s an expert. He built a projection movie theater in our basement!
  • Locate obscure items at all times. I once asked for a cereal that, unbeknownst to me, was only available at a Meijer 45 minutes away. He managed to buy me ten boxes only a few hours after my request. Er, I didn’t ask for ten boxes, but I’ll take ’em!
  • Be a fantastic doctor, but a horrible businessman (sorry, Dad, but it’s true!). Though to be fair, I’ve been told most good doctors share this trait, and I’d much rather have the former than the latter.
  • Understand physics and calculus that he last saw in college, yet somehow know it like he just studied it yesterday.
  • Never forget anything, really. His mind is like a shiny steel trap.
  • Eat squirrel. My mom served it to him once after a patient gave her a frozen one as a gift at the hospital.
  • Take care of animals really well. Despite the Melting Cat story, he really did everything he could for that cat. We’ve had iguanas, multiple cats, a rabbit, hamsters, a dog and more. Most were purchased when I “promised” to take care of them, but never did. My dad especially pampered our dog Lily, giving her baths weekly and cleaning her ears daily. When she got older and sick, he went above and beyond, administering eyes drops every night, and eventually carrying her outside to do her business when she had difficulty walking. And she was not a small dog at 75 lbs.
  • Wake up really, really early, and get more accomplished by 9 am than most people get done in a day. This means he’s always raring to go when I’m blearily wiping out goop from the corners of my eyes in the morning.
  • Lift me up, at least when I was little. My mom used to wake me up by giving me a back rub in the mornings, and when I refused to get out of bed, my dad would carry me to the couch, turn on the TV, and get me a cup of my favorite cereal. I always preferred to eat my cereal dry, and it was a pretty fantastic way to wake up for school.
  • Know just the right gift to give. When I returned from my last trip to Japan, which was a rough one for me, he had one of the brand new Wiis ready and waiting for me. It was a great distraction while I adjusted again to American life.
Categories: Fun Childhood, My Dad, My Mom
  1. September 12, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Just so you know, I love this post.

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