Today is my parent's anniversary. I think it's somewhere around 31 or 32. You'd think that being together this long would somehow give them the security of mutual love and respect.
But my parents? They hate each other*...
My mom is the oldest of 6. She's a wild child. In fact, her nickname in high school was "Crazy Maggie". Much to my Papa's chagrin, she had it spray painted in glow in the dark paint on the side of her car. She smoked pot and drank too much and had a ton of friends. This, I am sure, holds true for many of the parent's of children in my age group, (25-35) based on the time in which they were young.
My father wasn't far from how I described my mother, except he was a young, cool guitar player for a almost famous band. (Billy Vera was their lead singer) Needless to say, wild child Momma Mags met crazy cool Daddy Mags and they fell in love partying.
The had me about 2 years after they were married. I remember when I was really young (nursery school/kindergarten) we always had those huge bottles of wine on the top of the fridge-right next to my bottle of chewable vitamin C tabs. I also remember sitting on the stairs looking through the spindles as my parents drank, smoked pot and played cards. Of course, I didn't know it was wrong then, and no one ever hurt me. In fact, when I was little enough to NOT know that it was bad, it was fun...
I'd get woken up at 2am on a school night because it was snowing and my mom wanted me to go sledding with her. Of course, we only had an anthill of a bump to slide down and our sled was dilapidated, but I remember that night. It was particularly bright out-in my memory it's deep blue with white light from above; a full moon. I am standing at the base of the anthill with my Aunt (hee hee) looking at my mom slide on her belly face first toward me. She is laughing hysterically, a laugh not unlike mine today, and when she reaches us, she pulls us down to the ground and we all giggle. We make snow angels before going inside.
I also got to paint a rainbow across the entire wall of my playroom (which I remember as being the biggest room EVER) and had African frogs, tons of fish, parakeets (which my dad's druggie friend killed) a rabbit and a puppy, which I named Christopher Robin. All because my parents partied too much.
I remember that time fondly, actually. Because like I said, I didn't know it was wrong. I was just a kid with fun parents who gave me weird stuff that my friends didn't have.
Year after horrible year I grew up, learning that my father's addiction to alcohol was what was slowly killing our family. It wasn't until I moved away to Florida when I was 20 that I truly began to realize how stifled I was by it. Luckily, by the grace of God, my father is now sober and has been for 6 years.
It's funny. My whole life I thought that it was the alcohol that made our family sick-but it wasn't. It was the disease. The disease that still haunts our family on a daily basis. A disease that's crept so far into my mother's soul THROUGH my father, that she now displays hostility and anger even when she's sitting still.
And my father is impatient.
And my mother is stubborn and defensive.
And today, they will ignore the hollowness they both must feel, and pretend they are happy that they are together.
And today, I will pray even harder that they will look in the mirror and see who they've become, and then turn to each other and see who they were when they fell in love.
Today I hope they remember each other's smile, and the way their hearts danced when they saw them for the first time...
*I don't know this for a fact, I only know it in my heart.