I’m blogging about childhood memories for the A to Z blog challenge. I can’t think of any better topic for “M” than “Mom & Dad.” But how do you fit a lifetime into 300 words? I don’t think you can.
Dear Mom & Dad,
You guys were the best and we all miss you more than words can say.
There are a million things I could share about what it was like growing up in your home, but for today, I’ll just pick one. And this one is from a little later down the road, when I was in my teens.
Maybe you didn’t realize this, but I was listening.
I was listening when I’d wake up on Saturday mornings, a little later than you guys. Mom already had the biscuits made, bacon fried. You guys had already eaten breakfast together. Rob was still in bed. I’d get up and mosey to the kitchen. I could hear your voices coming from the back room where you both sat in your recliners, looking out of those “quiet” windows, reading the newspaper to each other.
Sometimes I would just stand there and listen as you read to one another. It seemed like you were having separate conversations, each of you editorializing something you read. Mom would say something about a recipe she found in her section of the paper–thought she might try it. Dad would reply not about the recipe, but with some other tidbit of news that didn’t have anything to do with the casserole Mom was contemplating. Something about politics, maybe, or a new manufacturing plant being built somewhere.
Back and forth you’d go, talking from two different sections of the paper. But I don’t think you were ignoring one another. It was an affectionate discourse between the two of you and I realized much later you were saying things that didn’t need words.
And it wasn’t just the mornings. I was listening at night, too.
You guys would turn in earlier. Rob and I would stay up watching TV in the back room. Sometimes after an hour or so I’d go to bed. I had to walk by your bedroom to get to mine and I’d hear you in there talking, still awake. I couldn’t hear the words, never tried to, because it was the voices that mattered. My parents, talking to each other, sharing their lives together.
I was listening, Mom & Dad. And what I heard was love.