Friday, April 20, 2007

To the parents

Years ago, I swore that I'd get married and change my last name. I hated them that much. Years ago, I almost slapped my mother. Years ago, I cut initials into my left ankle to remind me of the hatred and pain my father caused.

Years go by...

Dear mum and dad email:

I was thinking about you guys today.

It's great to work downtown with the floor-to-ceiling windows because we get to see a lot. During the good weather there's some daycare group that trucks up the street to the capitol with all these cute lil kids tied to a string and 2 adults leading them up the hill. Today, I was walking past the cap as I noticed all these toddlers jumping around the cap lawn in lil hats and coats.

Kind of made me think of that story you told me, mum, about how, as a kid, I was late for school bus and you made me walk to school but called some lady ahead at a church or something to "accidentally" come out and see me and help me across the street.

Made me very heartfelt and appreciative of all you guys have done for me. Without even knowing it myself, you've made me who I am. I know that you're not perfect and that you did the best you could and that there were so many years of utter hatred. But seems that things worked out, huh? And the more work I've done on this project, learning about unplanned consequences and poverty and lack of education and love, the more I've really started to understand the parents' role.

I'll never concede to it out loud [and you'll burn this email upon receipt], but I'm also kinda turning into you in parts. My sister and I talked tonight about our trip to London/Paris together. She told me she packs the night before but it's not a big deal [maybe she's a liar?]. I told her I pack the night before and it's an ordeal and I over-pack. .. Kind of like mom, I guess. ; ) So, we reconciled that she'll pack what she wants but will have the leftover space for our new purchases, where I'll come equipped with everything in case we need a first aid kit or some such.

So many other weird things too. She bought her ticket for my flight but randomly chose the seat. Ends up she's 35G and I'm 35J. We'll be kicking Mr. 35H out of the way for sure. Turns out she asked her beau to help her do the research for a new digicam, dad. HA! So, I forwarded her the info you sent me and told her about the digicam I bought.

Bizarre daughters you created.

At one point, while debating whether to stay with the friends-of-friends I wrote to or to investigate hostels on our own, she and I agreed that we'd be better off on our own -- b/c it's easier for us to separate w/o hurt feelings or take our own time alone etc w/o involving other parties. Two peas in a pod. [We're divvying up your list of hostels to investigate more thoroughly, dad]

Yeah, I think the trip will be good for us. Maybe a bit weird at times b/c she'll always want to take care of me and I'll always want to be rebellious. But I bet we're more similar now than we were ever before. And maybe that will be difficult, maybe not. Either way...

If you ever thought about leaving a legacy... well, you have.

Guess I just wanted to tell you guys that you done good. I know you already know, but ... you know, I'm the sensitive one, the writerly one. I had to do it.

Back to the research.



darth sardonic said...

i love this post, and can relate in so many ways.

and the landlord thing fucking cracked my ass up!

noman said...

Lovely email. I bet this message to your parents will make it all seem worth it to them - the diapers, the school meetings, the adolescent (and adult) acting out, etc. As a parent of adult daughters, I would love to hear something like this, just to know that maybe I was a positive influence on their upbringing. I have a feeling it will be a while before I that happens...