My Dad drove a convertible. Once he turned onto our crab tree lined lane, the volume of his Beethoven’s Fifth rattling everyone’s windows, a harbinger of his arrival sending us out to greet him. Top down, music soaring, he was beaming in the sunshine and wind, after a long day of doctoring. After dinner rides to the Dairy Queen, a pile of neighborhood kids squashing into his back seat, quarters held tight in our palms, eager for one of those delicious dipped cones. My hair whipping around my face yet seriously nothing felt better on a hot night than those rides in his red convertible. Every summer I find myself, windows down, radio up, driving a bit too fast for the curves ahead, thinking of his love of all things summer, chasing those carefree snippets of youth.
Year 29 is over, grades wrapped up, classroom straightened out, and kiddos graduated! Time to celebrate all the teachers from coast to coast, and applaud a job well-done during this extraordinarily challenging year. You & me & all the rest of us: we did it!
Ever since Father’s Day I have been thinking about the standard in which we measure parents. The bar is an interestingly high one if you ask me. There are fictional terms applied to both mother and father and I can’t fathom who could live up to those heights. As much as we recognize ourselves to be individuals, much of our own parenting mimics those who raised us; generational gaffes or successes mirror back and forward endlessly. I always consider myself lucky in that my parents lived a long life, spent many of their days loving me, and shared their passion for art, music and enjoying the outdoors with their children. But beyond those gifts, they peopled my life with more family than one can count, and now that they are both gone, I am extraordinarily grateful to slip into any one of those extended family photos surrounded by cousins. After 15 hug-less months this June gathering felt like a dreamy step into a future impossible to consider pre-vaccine. Surrounding the 96 year old matriarch, who not only endured her confinement but did so with grit and humor, made our time together lakeside pure heaven.