I had started writing a post about the current transition we’re in (aren’t we ALWAYS in transition over here? I take it as as continuing signs of personal growth, of course) and my new allergy remedies (whiskey with some honey, and more whiskey) but then this happened, and I felt the need to divert the subject.
It’s my parents wedding anniversary today. They have been married for 47 years. Forty. Seven. Years. The only thing I will be able to say I’ve done for 47 years, is exist on the planet – and something I legitimately can’t guarantee in this moment anyway. So, they deserve some love of course. Here’s the rundown of how the anniversary went from my (and Amy’s) end.
Mom calls me: Oh my goodness! We went in the knitting shop today after lunch and the woman that works there told me I was in the paper! I couldn’t believe it!
Me: Cool, what were you in the paper for?
Linda: Oh c’mon, you KNOW!
Me: No I don’t – what the hell are you talking about?
Linda: For our ANNIVERSARY – you put us in the PAPER! It says from you, Amy, Troy, Nathan and Anna! I cried! That was so sweet! Thank you so much!
Me: I don’t know what you’re talking about. So, not me. You might want to call the other daughter, Mom. But Happy Anniversary!
Me, addressing an email to my sister as my mom talks: Hey – next time you put Mom and Dad’s anniversary in the paper and sign my name, want to give me a heads up? Ass. She’s going to call you now.
Me, to my mom: Okay Mom I have to go, bye! Happy Anniversary! Say hello to Amy!
Amy calls me: What is going on? Did you put Mom and Dad’s anniversary in the paper?
Me: Um no – I just called YOU an ass for doing it, didn’t you get my email?
Amy: No – what are you talking about?
Me, replaying story, then: So – if neither of us did it, who did it?
Amy: I DON’T KNOW. Damn it. Dad? Because he knew we’d forget?
Me: Dammit. We suck. I’m getting Dad on the phone.
Conferences in Dad: So – did you do this for us and not tell us?
Dad: You guys didn’t do it?
Because we suck.
Our aunt did, it turns out – who is a much better family member than the two of us. (We love you Jeanette!) So from the two of us to the two of you, sweet parents:
Thank you for bringing us into the world, and raising us in a such an amazing place, resulting in those memories being so deeply embedded that we long for it every year more than once, wishing we could go back and do it all over again. Thank you for building a community around us that was so lively, warm and welcome at our house that the doorbell rang at least 10 times a day with someone stopping for coffee, or dropping kids off, or picking them up. Thank you for acting as life guards for the neighborhood kids, and keeping the freezer stocked with freeze-ice and the fridge stocked with apple juice, hot dogs and individually wrapped cheese for snacks. Thank you for building fires in the side yard. Thank you for pretending you didn’t know we’d already been to three other houses to collect money to go to the corner store for penny candy. Thank you for dinner at 5:00 p.m. every night, and for the consistent cooking of white rice and chicken, and french style green beans. (Really, though, we loved it) Thank you for the late night summer games of kick the can and hide and go seek and keep away in the pool – for playing them with us, with the other parents, instead of shuffling us off to play alone. Thank you for Sunday school and Christmas pageants and for reminding us that being a good reader to narrate the story of baby Jesus was totally as good as getting to play Mary. Thank you for coaching our games, and teaching us to drive. Thank you for taking us toilet papering, although I don’t think the other parents were as grateful. (Sorry Carla and Billy) Thank you for standing outside in your robe when boys brought us home after you flashed the lights too many times. Thanks for picking us up at Horne field after we snuck out. (But we weren’t even DOING ANYTHING.)
Thank you for surviving our consolidated teenage years, which none of us really need to document here or anywhere else for the world.
Thank you for being grandparents that our children love more than anything, sometimes even us, and for your support for both of us as parents.
Thank you for partnering to give us a fantastic life.
Most of all, though, thank you for teaching us to write thank you notes. Because although this one isn’t hitting you in the mail, as it should, handwritten – and although it’s late, and although we really didn’t do this anniversary of yours justice, we are very grateful to have you as parents.
And for what now seems like the 100th time, Happy Anniversary Linda and Vio. We love you!