My breakfast omelet this morning had a definite underbite; after at least ten perfect ones–that’s not a bad average. Of late–I’ve been on a quest to make perfect omelets. Did anyone have perfect parents? I don’t know at what point, the thought occurred to me.
There’s some guilt associated with publishing this post. It’s like betraying my parents and all they’ve given me. Many of their arguments were about money. Not that there wasn’t any–but rather about who was going to pay for what.
I don’t think they ever had a family budget. Mom was a teacher. Dad farmed and had several second jobs. “A man’s work was from sun to sun, but a woman’s work was never done.” In fairness–they both worked hard, and weren’t typical nine-to-fivers.
Father helped kill and pluck chickens to butcher. He assisted with vegetable preparation for canning. So, he wasn’t completely removed from what some would call domestic tasks. He milked our cows and worked in the garden.
They were from different family situations–dad, an only child; mom was the youngest of five in a single parent household. Both grew up during Prohibition, the Great Depression, and WWII. Nobody had things easy during that period of history.
Whatever they did was because they were human. Nobody’s programmed to know exactly how to raise a family. My parents had some enthusiastic discussions over money matters.
“Little pitchers had big ears.” I’d listen from my bedroom. Were they talking about me? Was there anything juicy I could pass on to my siblings? No, it was about who was going to pay utility bills that month.
Was theirs the best way to do things? They had separate incomes. I can only speculate–and refuse to judge. They did the best they knew how to do under the circumstances.
They cared enough about me and my siblings to sacrifice their money and time. In retrospect–they worked too hard to enjoy life. Mom once said, “If it wasn’t for me working, you kids wouldn’t have had anything.”
I don’t think dad liked that sentiment hanging over his head. Farming was labor intensive, speculative from season to season. Because of them, I grew up knowing I was loved. Darn it–my omelet broke apart!