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Flash-backtime. To20-someodd yearsago, when I was a teen cashierat Wilkes-Barre’s now-closed Sunshine Market,the one with the huge windows overlooking anequally huge parking lot.On work days, I wantednothing more than todrive myself there, park atthe very back and strollinto work all leisurely likethe “cool kids,” theirbright orange smocksswinging loosely in onehand and their car keys inthe other.I had my license, afterall, and knew how todrive. What I did not have was my own wheels. But Idid have two splendidparents, who, withoutprotest, transported me toand from work and every- where else a girl neededto get in life. Only now doI realize what a nuisance
must have been.But did I appreciate it? Well … Let’s just say whenever possible I’d buyoff my older sister, thefirst sibling with an actualcar, forking over $5 for the“privilege” of ferrying myself to work in herMazda GLC. I pulled in$3.35 per hour, so you canimagine the priorities. Myparents thought me silly,of course, but stoppedshort of prohibiting thissisterly extortion. (Shedefended her exorbitantfees by citing loss of herown vehicular mobility.)If you want to be “cool”badly enough …For me, the car was animage thing, and I’d pay tomaintain an “image.” Godforbid, you know, any of the
saw me getting dropped off by my
. But when my sisterdenied me, I had nochoice but to board thefamily shuttle.“Dad,” I asked one day,“Can you stop in front of the brick wall
thebig windows and just letme out there?”Moment of silence.“You bugger,” he said,using a favorite term of endearment.“It’s not that I’m asham-ed of you,” I explained.Lucky for me, he justkindly obliged.But then did he get megood. As I strolled into work with nobody, pre-sumably, the wiser, sud-denly a horn started honk-ing, loudly, and I turnedto see Dad waving out theopen window and shout-ing, “See you at10, Tawn(nickname). Love ya!Have a great night.”
Good old, bad old dad. Will parents stop atnothing to ruin our lives?••• Well, if only he knewhow much I’d like thattime back now, would like
back now …Flash forward.Kids today – I won’t say what you think; I’m not
old yet – they have itnice. Why? Mom and Dadas a species are cool again.Sure, they might havebeen when I was young,but I was too stupid torealize it. Lucky are thekids, of any age, who seethis and take advantage
. Truth is cool kids todayare proud to be seen inpublic with Mom andDad. They even notifytheir friends via Facebook!I see it among my grownfriends, too. They relishtime they can spend withone or both parents.As a grown-up now, too,(technically anyway), I’monly too happy to makeup for lost time. My chauf-feur Dad has died, so Ican’t as easily publiclyshow how proud I am tobe his daughter anymore,but I can, will and do withmy mom, without anounce of embarrassment.Like so many women,in fact, I
my mom. Irealize it in so many wayseach passing day. When Ifile coupons in my parti-tioned plastic envelope. When I can’t bring myself to wear jeans to church. When I find myself using a host of familiar expres-sions, scolding the man inmy life, for example, in asentence that starts with,“Listen,
… ”(There’s a “Missy” coun-terpart, sure, but I was anangel compared with mytwo bold brothers anddidn’t hear that as much.)OK, I bend the truththere. But here I do notprevaricate: My mom anddad were and are certi-fiably cool. Yours are, too.Read the stories inside,and see for yourself.All of us, the sooner werealize how fabulous ourparents are, the better off we’ll be. We may notalways show our gratitude(God knows I go off therails sometimes, and it’susually my patience-of-a-saint mom who pulls meback.) But if we’re lucky,time is still on our side.I’ll shush now. Have tocall Mom. Then maybe I’llhound heaven and see what’s up with Dad. I’dlike to make amends withthat bugger for a day ohso long ago.
is the TimesLeader’s features editor.
Sandra SnyderLindsey Jones
Mary Therese BiebelSara PokornyRachel VanBlankenshipSheena DeLazio
ON THE COVER/TIMES LEADER FILE PHOTOS
Caught in randommoments, theselocal moms, dads and childrengraced Times Leader pages duringthe past fewyears.