Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Rachael's Parents Were Right

When I was kid, I wanted different parents, in a BIG way. I thought I'd been shorted. Mine just weren't normal, I knew it.

Other kids' parents sent them to school with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on WonderBread. I got cheese and vegemite on brown bread.

Other kids got to eat sugar whenever they wanted to. We got dessert on Friday nights (ice milk, sometimes, or ginger snaps), and the rest of the time it was carob chips, ahoy.

Other kids got to watch TV, all the channels. We got to watch one hour a day, and it had to be on PBS: Mr. Rogers, Sesame Street, Electric Company, or my personal favorite: 321 Contact.

Other kids got to shoot toy guns. We'd get in trouble for even pointing a stick at each other and saying bang (which made it super fun to do quietly, up on the hill, when they weren't looking).

Other kids' parents took them to McDonalds. Our parents took us on protest marches.

Other kids got money for their grades. We got ten cents per tooth, no exception (except that one time the tooth fairy forgot--I got a quarter the next night. I always hoped she'd forget again.)

Other kids had curfews in the double digits. Ours was nine pm. In high school. I'm not kidding. (Weekends were extended to 10pm, which was still embarrassing.)

But you know what? We got to check out 10 books at once, every week, from the public library. We got to steer the car when Dad drove, and we got to learn to drive (and drive by ourselves!) at fourteen, because they trusted us. We got to watch rated R movies, as long as they were up for an Oscar. We got to jump off the roof of the garage, as long as we landed in the iceplant. We got to make stilts. We got to do scientific experiments in the hobby shop with our chemistry lab, and explosions were encouraged. We got play full-sized arcade video games while Dad was fixing them for a friend. Our cats got to have one litter of kittens each. We got to study astronomy. We got to live on a tropical island and count the geckos on the walls. We got to go snorkeling every day after homeschool let out. We were taught how to play. We were taught how to read.

And we were always, always loved. Our parents did it right, I've decided. I'm sure they were glad when I came around.

*I'm the one in blue, Christy is in gold, and SFA-RWA fellow member and sister Bethany is in red. Oh, wow, and now that I click for embiggening, I just noticed that Mom made her dress, Dad's shirt, and my and C's dresses. (Bethany's red suit is machine-made, I think.) ADORABLE.


Pamela Cayne said...

Wow, that's an amazing childhood! (Is it okay to say I'm a little bit jealous?)

So glad to meet you at RWA!

Sophie Littlefield said...

aw, aw, awwwwwww....rachael, i love that glimpse into from whence you came. And i love that your mom made your dresses...i made a dress a lot like yours for my sister, long ago...your folks did a wonderful job.

L.G.C. Smith said...

Another smile-down-to-my-toes post. Beautiful.

My parents offered similar values, except that they were stalwart public school supporters, and we never got to go to protest marches or let our cats have kittens. I hated living on the tropical island two down from yours, but my sibs loved it, and from this point in my life, I very much appreciate the memories and how much I learned. Plus, there was a library (air conditioned) less than a block away, and my parents let me go whenever I wanted. On the whole, I can hardly believe the courage my parents had in dragging four little kids out to a little bitty island for three years.

That's the BEST photo. Your mom sewed a lot better than mine.:)

Adrienne Bell said...

How cute. Freakin' adorable! I had your same haircut when I was that age. There's a lot of love in that picture. I love it.

Jodi said...

I think we maybe had the same parents?! Also, you all are ADORABLE. To the max.

Michelle said...

We had the same curfew in high school. This explains SO MUCH about our friendship to me. (I don't know why. It just does.)

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