Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about my parents when they were young adults. It’s kind of weird to me that in some ways they know me better than anyone, but I only know part of them. I didn’t even meet them until they were 28 years old and, even then, I only got the parent part of the relationship until recently.
I know the things they did… I can list activities and moments. My mom seemed to have dabbled in a bit of everything. She twirled batons and went to Argentina as an exchange student and did ROTC in college and tutored U of A football players and was in a pageant. My dad ran around the desert and fixed cars and threw tomatoes off the Jack in the Box roof and fed a one-legged bird while he ate lunch on the balcony of Old Main.
There are some funny stories and some serious stories, but it’s not as if I could know them at 15 or 20 or 25. I feel like I’m looking through a foggy window into lives that, ultimately, formed quite a bit of my own life. I can wipe away the fog but can only see a small blurred circle of their lives. I get glimpses of my roots, but will never truly know the them that was where I am in life right now.
Sometimes I wish I could have my own Back to the Future moment and casually attend high school with them and then follow them around the U of A campus. I would love to peek in on the moment that my mom essentially demanded my dad keep dating her, because she’d loved him since 5th grade. I’d check out the first house they bought and see who their friends were. I’d watch the way they interacted with each other in their first years of marriage. I want to get a glimpse of them packing up to move to California and hugging my grandparents goodbye. I want to figure out how they came to the conclusion that they were going to get a dog (and then refused to get/keep another one for 16 years!). I want to learn about their acceptance of likely not having children and watch their joy and celebration and fear when they learned I was on the way. I want to know what it was like for my mom when she had an infant and my dad was travelling for work.
I really enjoy my parents. I enjoy being around them and I like them as people. My people. They’re wise and fun and easy to be with and generous and open and faithful and curious. But at the same time, there are a lot of years of their lives I’ll only ever hear about, and then only through the fog of the 20-some years that have passed.
I’ve been reminded a lot recently that life is made of up moments. It’s seems obvious, but it is definitely the case that I can barely remember most of the days of this month. It’s particular moments that stand out. So, in the interest of holding on to a few more moments and making a bit more of myself available to future Kacey/Matt generations, I’m going to start writing more.
This doesn’t mean I’ll be sharing all my thoughts on a public forum (although there will probably be more of that), but I will be taking note of more feelings and thoughts and concerns and doubts and joys and celebrations. Sometimes those will be shared, sometimes not. Matt’s started doing a “Daily Summary” right before he goes to bed. I admire him for that, but I don’t know if I can be that dedicated. However, I will write more. I know the saying is that a picture is worth a thousand words, but in our current culture, I really think my words will be more meaningful than the thousands of pictures. No picture could have expressed this wandering through the tales and wondering about my parents and their lives. Only my words could do that.
This is my public declaration to maybe help me stick with it 🙂 Thanks for reading!
*Update: This sparked a great conversation with my mom. She just informed me she won “most original” in a hobo costume contest at Skate Country. My grandma made a skating skirt out of patches of different fabric. So great.