The Beginning of the End

So here they were, high school graduates with an 8-month-old baby. And the following month, in July, they were married at the Justice of the Peace. Not only that, their last year of high school they were living on their own in a tiny apartment - while they both went to school and worked.

My earliest memories were when I was 2, living in a different apartment. My dad worked during the day and my mom worked at night. So, my dad & I spent a lot of time, just the two of us. For whatever reason, dinner-time is a vivid memory at that time.

As you can imagine, money was tight and my dad, at the ripe old age of 19, was taking care of his 2-year-old little girl. That entails making dinner. I don't remember the "main courses" that he would prepare, but I remember quite clearly we must have had 5 million cans of these mixed vegetables. Because he made them every night.
And I hated them.
I refused to eat them.
And every night it was the same.
He would send me to my room if I didn't eat my vegetables.
I still refused.
And he still sent me to my room.
I know this went on for some time.
One of us eventually gave up. I'm assuming we must have run out of those horrible, nasty vegetables. Because the other thing I vividly remember is sitting on my dad's lap, in the evenings before I went to bed, watching M*A*S*H.

Klinger fascinated me. I remember having a lengthy discussion with my dad over why Klinger dressed like a woman. My dad told me that where they were in Korea, there was a war going on and Klinger wanted to go home. And the only way Klinger thought he would get to go home was if he dressed like a girl. I believe he (my dad) chuckled when I said, "It didn't work!" His explanation was simple and sweet, but I still didn't understand - being only 2 years old & all. But I do know that's when I fell in love with Hawkeye & Pierce.
They kept my 2 year old curiosity peaked.

At some point around when I was 3 or 4, we moved into a house. And this is where it gets messy, ugly and scary. There are things I remember, memories I recall that I have been trying to work through for years. This is where at 4 and 1/2 I knew things would never be the same. I knew that my future as a young girl, living with her mom, was bleak. This is where I felt I betrayed my dad. Even though I was only 4 and had no say, no control. This is where I became acutely aware of wanting to save everyone, feeling responsible for everyone and feeling the weight of the world on my 4 year old back. That weight (to this day) has never been lifted. It has just grown to feeling everything for everyone.
And lastly this is where in the course of a month, I would lead two distinctly different lives, with two distinctly different parents. The life I would lead during the week was drastically different than the life I would lead every-other-weekend.
When I got to see my dad....

3 ripples in the pond:

Oh, The Joys said...

What? You're gonna leave me hangin' like that? GAH!

jen said...

i was so in love with hawkeye.


and just imagine..your parents were such babies themselves, trying their best (making you eat veggies). it's incredible, isn't it?

keep this going, girl. what's next?

Joker The Lurcher said...

that betrayal thing. the only way you can square it in your head is to think of your own child at that age. would that be betrayal if that happened to them? here is a snip from my other blog:

"A time came when she decided that she would let me go to live with my dad and his wife Maria. I will never know why or how this decision was arrived at. She asked me if I would like to live with Dad and Maria and her daughters and I said yes. For years this made me think I had chosen to go. But she chose to ask me the question in the first place; it is not a question I would ever ask my own child."

never blame yourself for the stuff your parents did. they were the grown ups. at least this is what i keep telling myself when this guilt thing creeps up on me...