July 28, 2002

My parents met in college. They got engaged, got married on graduation day, and had my sister later that year. Voila, instant family. At 22 they were adults with a kid, struggling to get by, my mom with hair down to the small of her back and my dad's nearly as long. They worked. Dad went to school. In a few years, I came along.

Dad stayed home with us, babysitting and watching soap operas. Dad read the best Dr. Seuss stories. He did all the voices. Her sped through the most nonsensical of them. We made him go faster and faster.

Mom worked to support us. She was a payroll clerk. We lived in a condemned house, waiting for the final notice. There was a hill across the street that was great for sledding.

One day Mom decided to go to law school. She wanted to do something with her life. She liked to argue. It made sense. Dad decided to go, too. We moved to a better house. My parents were 30 or so when they went back to school. We're late bloomers in my family.

They studied hard. I remember sitting at home, watching TV or playing in the living room, my mom hard at work in the little study next door to me. I remember them taking us to the school with them, wandering the orange-carpetted halls, playing with office supplies, playing on the dollys. I don't know why a law school had dollys, for the heavy lawbooks maybe.

I remember when my parents went to find out if they'd passed the Bar Exam. My sister and I were sitting at home watching How the West Was Won and they came home, so happy and excited. My dad told us the story, how Mom had cried and everyone thought she had failed.

We moved to the country after that, Mom and Dad both getting good solid jobs where they made enough money for us to rent a house, which we eventually bought. They wanted to live somewhere safe. When they'd been in school, someone had gotten raped down the street from us. They wanted to protect us.

My parents raised us well. We have respect for the earth, for people of all colors and creeds, we believe in equal rights and human rights, we have good moral centers.

I used to love hearing my parents argue. It wasn't fighting, it was debating. They were so intelligent and verbal--they never talked to us as if we were babies. Which is probably why we're both writers now.

My parents gave me the basis of everything I am. Sure, I've tweaked it quite a bit, I'm certainly my own person, but who would I have been if I'd been raised by middle-aged republicans in Florida? I shudder to think.

So thank you, Mom and Dad, for everything you gave me, including the sponsorship in the Blogathon! You're my heroes! I love you.

I'm participating in the 24 Hour Blogathon for charity. I'm updating my site every 30 minutes for 24 hours. I'm getting loopy from sleep deprivation and heavily caffeinated. But I hope to make a lot of money for Global Fund for Women which supports women's human rights organizations around the world. Please sponsor me by clicking the Blogathon button below my pic on the left or by clicking this link and filling out the form. Thanks.

Posted by Alyssa at July 28, 2002 04:04 AM
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