If you were to ask either of my parents if I developed my love for writing from them, I imagine both of them would say no. In the past few years, my parents have come to mean something different to me, figures that I rely on more than I thought I would at the age of thirty-five. After I made it through the years of adolescent angst and drama, I came out seeing my parents in a clearer light. And, after I went through a tough break-up and moved away, I realized how lucky I am to have the parents I have.
There has always been a joke between me and my siblings that our family is straight-up wacky. From post-it notes of frustration that my parents leave each other on the cupboards to the predictable bickering that ensues every holiday, we shake our heads and sigh. It's true that sometimes it can be stressful watching your parents argue over small things over the years, but I've also learned how to look at that stress with a comedic eye. My parents have been in a relationship together for almost forty-six years. Wouldn't you be tired of someone never changing the toilet paper roll for forty-six years? Some disagreements are understandable and completely human.
Over the years, my family has become inspiration and material for my writing. Trips spent cutting the Christmas tree down, nights spent at the local pizzeria drinking beer and gorging on deep-fried vegetables, and Christmas morning brunch; these are the moments I hold on to and use for poetry. In an effort not to forget where I came from or how I got here, I write it all down.
Recently, my parents have discovered the convenience of text messaging. I text my parents on a regular basis to get updates on life back in MI. Through these text messages my parents take care of me, albeit in a distant and technological way. My dad sends me photos of birds, toast and family members. My mom texts to tell me that she loves me, she checks on my cats and asks me about the weather. Through these texts I've come to appreciate my parents even more. I have come to value the warmth and love they have given me over the past thirty-five years. My mom likes to get silly sometimes when she texts, usually around my birthday or Christmas and I love it. She will ask me what I want for my birthday and when I reply that I don't want anything, my mom will respond with, "Fine. I guess I will have to go get you that blow-up doll I saw in a catalog." The fact that this remark comes from my very Midwestern minded mom, only makes it better.
The warmth my parents send me comes in the form of words and sentiments, but they also come in the form of photographs and afghans. In the following posts I'll share the funny, odd and concrete ways my parents send their love to me. I hope you'll join me.