Friday, July 2, 2010

A Parent's Love

I took the day off work yesterday to help my dad around his barn. He had a list of things he needed help with but really he just wanted to go over things I might need to know someday. He reviewed the combinations of the locks, where he hides keys, how to start the tractors, where stuff is. He had another heart attack this spring and seems to be planning for the future. And should he go home to be with the Lord, he doesn’t want me trying to hotwire his 1959 Ford tractor. This was the closest thing to a display of affection I have seen from Paul.

I have great parents but still, they are, you know, parents. Emilie and Allison were spending the night with my mom and dad last week. I stopped by under the thinly veiled premise of wanting to have tea with my mom and saying good night to the girls. Really I was giving Allie and Em a chance to bail. I lived with my parents for 18 years so I developed immunity to their stick German Evangelical mannerisms, their disapproving glares would bounce off me like marshmallows off armor. Emilie and Allie haven’t developed this skill to that level yet. Em came home with me and Allie stayed.

When I got to my parents, the girls were looking at photo albums from when I was their age, and laughing it up. My mom did a good job documenting everything in pictures with little captions underneath, an analog blog of sorts. Thousands of pictures, including this one where I took Judy to a BMX race and locked my mom’s keys in the trunk. I didn’t tell Em or Allie this story as they didn’t need anything else to laugh at me about; I have worked very hard to create the illusion of having my shit together so the less they know the better. I normally don’t post pictures of people without their permission but Judy will never see this. If she knew I had a blog, she wouldn’t look at it just out of spite. Every girlfriend I ever had now hates me in direct proportion to how much they once loved me. Judy hates me just a little.

Another photo shows me after the first of many disappointing races. My mom’s caption reads: “Almost won.” If in “almost won” she means almost finished in the top half of the quarter final heat to qualify for the semi finals at an entry level BMX race, then sure, I almost won. Maybe my mom really thought I almost won. That right there is the love of a mother, a love than transcends reality.

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