Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Mom and Dad

I am a very lucky person.

I grew up as the kid of my parents, Mom and Dad. Mom was born on October 22, 1961 in a place called Yonkers, New York. Her parents had lived their previous lives in England before they came there. When she was five years old, her parents moved her and her younger sister from the East Coast to the San Francisco Bay Area, where she grew up and spent a chunk of her young adult life.

Dad was born on January 31, 1954. I don't really know where. He grew up the youngest of four brothers, in San Mateo. He was the sixth generation of the family to be born in California. His father, my grandpa, was a pilot. His mom knew how to shoot a tin can thrown in the air.

Mom was eighteen, and her sister was sixteen, when her parents divorced. They moved to an apartment on their own, where they lied about their ages. Mom worked at Wells Fargo Bank for a long time. Her father wanted her to become a nurse, but a semester of nightmares at nursing school destroyed that ambition. Eventually she got a job at Radio Shack, working her way up the corporate ladder as first a manager, then as the Santa Clara district Secretary.

Dad's family moved to Calaveras County after they bought a gold mine in a town called Sheep Ranch, current population 32. He was in his last year of high school when he went on independent study and moved to Yosemite. There, he got a job as the manager for a bike rental shop. He learned how to play the guitar and played with his feet dangling off Half Dome. His mother died of breast cancer when he was nineteen years old.

Dad held a variety of jobs in a variety of places. Eventually he found himself again on the Southern Peninsula, working in a San Mateo Radio Shack.

That's right. I owe my existence to Radio Shack.

My parents dated for roughly two years, and got married on January 1, 1987. On August 11, I was born. I used to joke that I was conceived on the wedding day. Then I actually did the math and found that to be far from true. It was probably Thanksgiving.

They kept me in the town of Redwood City for roughly a year until we moved to Sacramento and another one arrived on May 21, 1989, a sister Megan. Then we moved yet again to a very small town in Placer County and on May 28, 1991, the last one popped out, my other sister Janet.

We lived a silly and wonderful existence until I decided that high school was finished and wanted to go away for awhile. To do more school, somewhere else, very much unlike what happened to my parents in young adulthood.

Then when I was nineteen, I learned that Mom and Dad no longer liked each other as much as they used to. And so my family, laid-back and goofy in style yet cookie-cutter in form, dissolved on December 31, 2006. Very much like what happened to my parents in young adulthood.

It used to make me very sad. I cried for days and my Christmas was ruined. I felt like I did something wrong, like I wasn't a good enough reason for my parents to be happy together. I felt like they were taking the easy way out, like if only they waited until Janet was gone, they'd have time to untangle the mess and clean out the house and I could have somewhere to return from school that was familiar.

But when you leave your childhood behind, it stays behind forever. You can't go back.

But because my parents are who they are, they provided me with the most happy, enriching life that anyone can imagine. And therefore, I am lucky. Not everyone gets to grow up with a good relationship to both of their parents.

Welcome to my autobiography. :)


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