Monday, February 4, 2008

One more thing...

I just can't let that photo from yesterday stand alone, without comment. Doesn't my dad look like a badass? If the truth be told, he didn't win any parenting medals, but in this particular photo, he is simply chewing the side of his mouth. Mom, of course, is her typical, cheery self. Ironically, this photo, although it hints at my dad's scary side, is actually a time stamp of a day that includes one of my most favorite childhood memories.

Our family, though large, was not Walton-large, or Brady Bunch-large, or Eight is Enough-large. It was just large, and we squeezed into a tiny, 1300 square-foot house. We drove around in a sedan or station wagon, four "little kids" stacked across four "big kids" laps in back, and one in front with Mom and Dad whenver we went somewhere together (Seatbelts? Shmeatbelts!). On the day of my First Communion, however, my mom and dad did something they had never done before; they took me for a drive. Me; just me!

I remember the drive in the country with a lot of clarity; the rolling hills and my wondering how they got that way, Dad explaining about glaciers and how they shaped Wisconsin. That led to talk of dinasaurs and prehistoric times. I remember none of the details, really, just the feeling of elation that my dad was talking to me like I was a normal person; no yelling, no anger, just a normal conversation like I'd heard some of my friends have with their dads. I felt like a regular person in a normal life, and it felt wonderful.

The Social Studies lesson from Dad stands out in my mind, obviously, but moreso the fact that I was sitting in the front seat of a car between my mom and dad, just me. Me, the 7th of nine children, alone with my parents, on a very special day. Feeling very special, indeed. Oh--and we stopped for ice cream, too. Normal, everyday vanilla. But it tasted like a dream.

4 comments:

  1. I can't even imagine the difference of being one of nine-- I had enough jealousy about being one of two. It feels a little petty, in retrospect.

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  2. Princess-At least with nine, there are plenty of distractions to keep you busy while you wait your turn for attention, haha.

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  3. It's nice that your parents did that for you. Everyone needs to feel special. Even if it's in the smallest way. It can really impact your life.
    9 kids!! Good Lord your parents were busy!!

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