L'tfe

a i'tb l4oTber

These lvere the years of World War I. The one I r/as born j-n of c o u r s e I ca n rt re me mb e rn b ut f do r em ember the har d r ock candy I'l other hoarded because sugar rrta6 scarce and tt was thought at that tlme that sugar vras good for you. I t t u a sb o rn i n T o l e d o ,Ohio in 1915. For m any year $ after w ar d I was told, and my younser brother too, that we were ttplannedrfbables. I n e v e r b e l i e ve d i t, tfPlannedtrbabies are loved and cherished all of, their lives just a s t h e y & ro r S ve ry p h a se and anpect of gr owth including their p e y c h o l o g i .ca l *e p i rl tu a l b e tn6 ar o nur tu:Fed. They ar e r espected and loved for the original itrach human human souls they are born with. p h a s e t h e y e n to r l s co mp l eted ln an aur a of Lovj- n6 par ental co nc er n f o r t h e we l l -b e i n g o f th e i -r whole por sor ir I w a s n o t tre a to d a cc or ding to what was needed for pr oper s oul d e v e l o p e me n t. $ o me th i fi g v r a6 wr ong, and I knew lt. It waer &6 I di s c o v e r e d , p re tty mu ch i n l l ne wlth the Victor ian Age we had jus t paos ed through. Sharne vras a valuable tool j.n the reartng of ktds and Mother wanted to mak4 certain I would not shame her. 5o I was put to shame much of the time. I v/as an obedlent child, more than willing to learn ' But h o w t o ma ke p e o p l e l l ke me. Gr own- ups did. in school I w as the b u t o f t e a si n g . But he My yo u n g er - .br other did his shar e of it. l i s t e n e d l e sa to Mo th e r a nd mor e to his feellng natur e, Need l es s to 6ay he did better than I * I{e was the clown, and that l-s where hj-s rebellion w e n t. Ml n e , I stuffod, and only to have it r e*sur fac e i n &f,s &s r m y per sonal pr ogr esa in som @ fu l l fo rce , to inhibit later llfe, so a ro d . somethlng. I had my best f have discovered slncer .&,9,3! paid attention to them. They are &g.W wrongl my childhood was an impossible personal disaster g!! of in a very chiLdlsh kind of Aside frorn tvirother participating the time. w a y i n a ll o f th o se ch l l d h ood ventur es we liked to dr eam of and ac c om p]ish for ourselves, u/e sometirues managed to escape and live our own dreams' ,She bought the lumber for our tree-hopse and the cabin we wanted to She went with us on/regular r,Saturday ten m1le build under the hill, h i k e a n d to o k'6 s to sw S .m m lng classes at the Y.!?,C,A. and lear ned al ong I n o t h e r s, I Feelings years whtle I Not that

wj-th us. $he seemed to want to be included in all we did except for those tlmes ln the $prlng when we rowed our bo.at to the island in the mlddle of the river after the ice melted and the water went down. fhere w9 could live our dreams as we picked up reh-cs from the Indlan w a t r s l A rro w h e a d e , p a rts o f sheletonn, ancient coi- ns and bayon ets , r ueted and on their way to disintegratlon. At th o se ti me s l .l o th er r s Br idge gam e6 took pr ecedence ove r our actlvity. fhere were ttmes aleo during Bridge ganes lvhon we walked t h e C l o ve rl e a f R a i l ro a d tracks accr oas the fleld which was on the other s i d e o f th e ro a d fro m o u r house. We plcked up chunhs of coal for the stove we did not have in the c a b l n w e l ra d n o t ye t b u i l t, and peices of wood and old tln fr om far l en s l g n s t o b e u se d . l a te r fo r that. W e never got to use our lngenui ty l tt. M o th e r w a n te d th i n g C I to look good. She helped us build the c abi n wlth store-bought planks from the lumber m111. She was good at helping f l € r t o o w i th sch o o l p ro j e c ts of an ar tj- etlc natur e that r equir ed c uttlng and pasting, sometlmes taking thern out of my hands just to be

hetr-pf,ulo
Sh e d i d a t1 o f th e h ousehold wor k after the maid left. She nev er a s s l g n e d u s ch o re s o r to l d anyone what she wanted or expected of us . $ h e j u s t w e n t a i re a d . N o matter how she suffer ed she would go ahead and qccomplish whatever the task wlthout asklng for help. And how she sufI got W e could te1ll f e r e d u nd e r th o se a rml o a d s of fir eplace logsl t h e i m p re ssi o n e a rl y i n l i fe that she wanted to suffer . Than k God for l 3 r i d g e g a n e 6 . ,S h e co u l d for get those weighty r esponsibilities for a of the f e w h o u r s a s sh e l o st h e rself in the car de and the lntr icaeles 8Ame. $he could forget to call for her kids in the middle oft wj.nter at the private school they attended some ten miles frorn home while their k n e e s f r oze l i ke ca ke s o f ice up to and including their bottom s , and bend from the cold tgs$ fingers under knitted gloves would hardly as they wiped their runny noses and teary cheeks on harsh, dried-snot h a n d k e r ch i e ve e * T h e n , a l r eady dar k, at fj.ve or slx otclock the c ar d r o v e o p r a n d w l th a p o l o g ies and ttl foqgot all about Youttr w€ w er e w e l c o m e d l -n a p a i n -'l a d e n v oice.

Kidrs minds elcs'gserate j-n order to rationalize what they believe t o b e tru e . B u t th a t l -s the way it wa6, and thatr s the way r s om eti m es m a k e i t se e m e ve n n o w w hen r anger at stmilar qccur ancee;in m y Ltfe. That was Motherl admlred by those outslde her farnlly clrcJ-e, she c o p e d we l l ' D a d rs sw e e tn apathetlc per sonalLty was usually d.pow ned. i n a l c h o h o l i c re ve rl e . He was often bedr ldden or deeply sun k tn hi s Sreen leather rocker, snoring and obllvioue to what wae goi.ng on around. him. He was the dad that was never there. Why must he come back to haunt me now? why are theoe chlldhood thougsts so strong? rt must have been extrenely traumatj_c. s n d Mo th e r, a mo n g a r l other thlngsr was his nur semald, too, attendl n g t o a l l o f h i s n e e d e and. d.estr €6r she was hts pr otoctor , hi s guar d1an, hls chauffeur his savior! she was everything, to leverybodyl -Super-Mom! ,$uper-WJ-fet What a woman!

I{ORE ABOUT MOTHER

I h aven't Beca u se of w hich

finished the

with

mo t h e r y e t in

I p ro b a b l y n e v e r my lif e ; the

wi 1 I .

huge gaps s h e f ille d and action, I iike did to not h e r' s that

wa y s in a re her on

thought

a n d min e ,

in t e rt win e d , wit h

un a lter a ble. th e h o me-front

t h in k ta k e

my e x p e rie n c e a d d e d in that

a wa y b u t

s o me d ime n s io n my p a in counted

to m y g rowth in th e

as a person.

f lik e

t o t h in k

process,

and I know j. t mu s t h a v e . among the mis s in g Drink in g o n t h e h o me -f ro n t . cannot be a He I ik e d re wa rd in g v a lu e a own b e en it .
and

Da d was often a cha n ge of

pace.

a lo n e

e xp e r ie nce a lco h o l

regardless

of th e f a ls e it s

e u p h o ria f re e in g of not

o r a n e s t h e t ic in f lu e n c e t ru e mu s t to
the

affords.

A pparent ly ,

ma d e it to h is

wo r thwh i.le ne e d s and

interlude. the desires The guilt

Th e p a in of of h is

b e in g h e a rt

o wn d id

have a ila y
pain

excr u cia ting. I always

u n t ru t h dad. lif e not

n o t h in g
I knew

sympathized inherent in

wit h l iv in g in c lu d e d

fr u str ati ons ne e d to

wit h

mo t h e r. her

The constant o wn a mb it io n s wo rld

accompiish

that

s imp iy

a n d de sires, by th o se

but the impre s s io n s to heri no her

p re s e n t e d and wh ic h

t o t h e o u t s id e her to h o me ; b u ild

close with

c h ild re n on

s u rf a c e a n y t h in g

i m pr e ssions sub stan tive. M other her ar tistic

foun d a t io n

could

manage this

we 1 1 . her

He r n a t u ra i to re a liz e to

in t e re s t s her

and

abilities The social

he lp e d po s it io n

c re a t iv e wa s

p o ten ti al.

s h e lik e d

u p h o ld

en h a n ced by her wh ich , though

ambitions of

and the

d e v e lo p me n t

of

her

t a le n t s

not

geniu s her in

p ro p o rt io n s , these

we re a b o v e a v e ra g e .

Econ o m ic status Extr avagant chr istm as r m p r e ssive r e co g n ition, ba la n ce d, time

aided

v e n t u re s . and I ig h t d e s ig n s at

christmas won her and

lig h t f irs t

d e c o ra t io n s p riz e s ro s e g a rd e n the in the

contests. g a in e d her we ll-

f1 ower while nutritional by

f o rma l

g a rd e n s o u t la y

a vege t a b le val u e nature, for she

f u rn is h e d

f a mily

me n u . she her c o u ld up not do but to

A w orkaholic eve r ything. ba r e ly h e lp

d is c o v e re d s lo we d

A rthritic her

t e n d e n c ie s ac t iv it ie s .

s o me ,

interrupted with the

s h e h ire d

a g a rd e n e r

outdoor to

wor k . that t h e re wa s a g re a t a mo u n t it of deal wo rk o f q u ilt she d id

r ca nnot w i th in witho u t th a t r

fail

admit of the

me because asking was for

t re me n d o u s

help

o r a c c e p t in g for a iif e

wh e n o f f e re d .

r f e lt a

being with

raised

" d o -n o t h in g " except to

e x is t e n c e ; imp re s s mI , g o a l o t h e rs . in lo v e lif e

"cl othe s-horse" By be in g wa s to ch e r ish a n d the rt

no aim in

in sweet agreement wit h capture, me for act in the a pass iv e rest

t h e s t a t u s -q u o

wa y ,

s o me o n e wh o wo u ld s imp le for

a nd

of my lif e to

t h e wa y r lo o k e d

I presented

t h e wo r1 d . r found date p o s s ib ly been my s e lf in wh e n r "Just wh e n r in

was a frightening ability

pre d ic a me n t o n my f irs t r

d o u b ted my acting be you r self, did n 't

a n d wa s t o ld , b e my s e lf

Dear." r

How c o u ld was? r had

know who

p e rf e c t ly than

s c h o o le d

m a n n e r s and had no idea

how to

be other

a we ll-b e h a v e d

m an n e q uin. I co u ld not

I had'not be like

even le a rn e d

t o p la y wit h

other

c h ild re n .

t,hen b e c a u s e I wa s a d mo n is h e d wh e n I wa s. lit t le lit t ie I a d y wa s h o rrif ic . ia d y . Da d a n d b ro t h e r s h o u ld B ilI

Be in g mother's M o ther d id not fit

perfect

had her into it

perfect

what she t h o u g h t or dropped o u t o f it Pe rf e c t if

t h e p ic t u re e n t ire ly .

c o n t a in . wa s

Th e y b lurred i.nco m p lete ar e n o t m ig h t

T h e p ic t u re

and tepid.

re q u ire me n t s t h e re but is at not

a n d e x p e c t a t io n s S u c h n o rma lc y wo u ld f it the

conducive

to normalc y , pic t u re ,

be such. le a s t it

present ideai

a boring artd this normal.

Am er ica n It is

id e a lis m Wh a t is ?

n o w e a s ily

a c q u ire d .

no longer