Monday, September 14, 2009


My generation has found outlet in blaming trauma in youth for a myriad of bad choices in adulthood. I have no excuse. My childhood was idyllic. Because I refuse to manufacture issues in order to join in on the moaning about a bad childhood, I am starting a campaign to air my clean laundry. Because I don't buy that your life has to be perfect to talk about the good stuff. You just have to pay more attention to the good than the bad, and it'll thereby be more prominent. I had a great childhood. So did The Husband. (Except middle school. Don't ask him about middle school). The Husband and I both love our parents, and we're not afraid to say it. Thus, this ode to consistent, loving parenting. (please excuse this foray into uncharacteristic sweetness and light -- it doesn't often overtake the crankiness. you can expect cranky to reappear momentarily)

I have always appreciated my in-laws. They are truly like second parents to me. But when my FIL spends his Labor Day painting a clear coat on the roof overhang of our new house? *sniff*

You know how everyone has crazy mother-in-law stories? Not it. I adore my MIL. My Mother-in-law frequently does grandbaby duty when I've flown the coop at some out-of-town gig and The Husband insists on being productive on a Saturday. For example, even after being on-call all week (including the Monday holiday), she loved on her rambunctious, wild, perpetually hungry, highly-active grandbabies last weekend while I was in Syracuse. Because just TRY and stop The Husband and FIL if it's a nice day. Something about a soffit.

Now I turn your attention to my own dear parental units. I've already borne witness to my mother's log-scrubbing prowess, as well as her love of family adventure. She also frequently does grandbaby duty, even wrangling my children overnight two weekends ago when Bob and I went to Burlington, VT for some R&R. My father is fixin' to retire next Easter and is going to single-handedly feed the entire North Country with his garden. After living in town for 18 years, my folks moved out to the country last fall and so my ecstatic father went nuts with his year-one garden. He used to garden when we lived in Central NY, but has had to confine himself to tomato plants in pots and galvanized tubs of lettuce on the porch roof while they lived in town on a small, shady lot. This summer though? Insane. And he's got plans for expansion. There are times when I wish I'd inherited at least SOME of his horticultural skill. And then I wonder why I'll ever need to garden. We couldn't eat all the cukes, squash, beans and lettuce he gave us this year! And this was his "trial" garden!

So there. We have great parents and we don't care who knows it. It's a high standard for us as we seek to raise our ragamuffins. And about the only way we're exceeding those standards is in dressing our kids.


Cool clothing was just not a priority for either set of parents. But, if that's the worst we can say about our upbringing? Yeah. Exactly.

Thanks, guys.


David said...


My father spent a lot of time in a daydream, but how else do you have great thoughts. The man's my hero.

And my mother is so overly positive about everything, we think about screaming. Surely we can't start moaning about optimism, though. Where would that lead us?

To clean laundry! Oyez, oyez.

Cedar ... said...

Can I join the "great parents" club? I always say that my parents never made a mistake. Well, maybe they did, but I never noticed it. Thanks Daddy and Ma,.... wish you were still here so i could tell you again how much i love you!

a Tonggu Momma said...

As you know, I am totally jealous on this topic.

Rick and Dianne said...

Anne...What a wonderful and uplifting post. I also come from the "great parents and in-laws" club. My Mom and Rick's Mom were best friends long before Rick and I got together at age 15. They would always share holidays by deciding by themselves who got us and when. Really took the pressure off us! Our Moms both died way too young, but they are still up there looking down and I'd like to think they are both proud of us!
Thanks for reminding me about my wonderful childhood...and my fantastic in-laws!

Emma said...

Hooray for happy childhoods! I'd like to add that your parents and parents-in-law are indeed wonderful--they treat me like family, too!