Bring your jacket. Yes. Because you’ll get sick. Yes, you will.
Eat it. It’s good for you. Fine…a little ketchup. That is enough ketchup. There, all done…wait. Why is there ketchup on the dog’s face?
You need to listen. Stop watching that! Listen.
Why are there keys in the fridge?
You can’t go there by yourself.
It’s just not healthy.
You’re being silly.
Because I said so.
Because I love you.
You’re driving me crazy.
If you are not yet at the age where many of the conversations that you have with your parents are virtually identical with ones you’ve had with your children, don’t worry. It’s coming…the great “Circle of Life” and all of that.
So, this circle. It isn’t very jolly like most roundy, circley things are. Seems like it is always circling back to something bad. One of its favourites is this deal where at some point between the ages of 20 and 70 (which I have decided is a perfectly legitimate age range) (the person whose blog it is gets to decide the age ranges), there begins a gradual shift…until you start to feel a little bit like you are parenting your parents.
The circle of life blithely ignores the fact that you still feel like you need parenting yourself. Classic un-jolly move, Circle of Life. Way to be difficult. It’s having way too much fun at our expense. I’m pretty sure it’s sitting there with its friends, eating chips and dip while observing my conversations with my parents - watch this part…she tries to tell them why they can’t eat at Wendy’s all the time just because cooking is too much trouble. Shhh…wait! The good part’s coming! She’s asking her Dad about eating vegetables…he’s telling her he ate a piece of broccoli a couple of weeks ago. Bwahaha! Aww…look at her earnest little face. Aaaand there it is…leafy greens! She said leafy greens! Who had ten bucks on her saying leafy greens? (money changes hands and they all high-five).
So, while I was chin-deep in everything egg-related this weekend (mini, cream-filled, caramel-filled, solid chocolate, Godiva, Lindt, Cadbury…actually, fried and boiled too, now that you mention it) it was finalized. The big news. My parents have decided to move out of their house. Downsize.
And not so much “decided” as that they finally gave in to the constant nagging from us kids. After insisting that if it was painful for my Dad to lift his arm to retrieve dinner plates from the cabinet, it might be a sign that shoveling a huge driveway through (Canadian) winters and maintaining their football field of a yard, might be…tricky? After pointing out that watching Say Yes to the Dress because the clicker was too far out of reach might mean that all the stairs in the house would become…challenging? (and that no, just sleeping on the couch was not an option). The fact that their children all live at least 2 hours away and the whole “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” thing was now a potential reality (and not just me on Monday mornings).
It was definitely time, and up to that point I had been strongly encouraging it. I was so busy in my campaign to get them to “move to the next phase”, I had been forgetting that this was also my childhood home.
My childhood home! Where I grew up! Where I went to school! The beach! The park! Other landmarks I can’t say without revealing exactly where I grew up! The place I had my first kiss! The place where I made my first (of many) mistakes. Bad decisions! Poor choices! Ill-fated---wait, what were we talking about? Oh. Right. My childhood home! This little town! What? No! I couldn’t lose connection with my favourite place to visit in the whole world!
Don’t let all the exclamation points fool you. It really did make me sad. Then I did the thing where you just kind of feed the sad by remembering events. Even stuff that didn’t happen.
Remember when we used to sit around the fire-pit out back and sing campfire songs, Dad?
Um. We don’t have a fire-pit.
Well, remember when you would take us tobogganing down that giant hill in the park?
Yes…oh hey! Did you hear they found out that hill is built on toxic waste? They’ve closed it permanently…
Okay. But that little church – remember all the Easters we would go there…us girls in our little flowered hats?
Yep. Sikh Temple now. Or is it a Masonic lodge?
(much gazing out the window…much time passing) Remember when you put out peanuts for the blue jays?
Yep. But then the squirrels…
Okay, but remember how much fun we had with that squirrel catcher? How we’d release the squirrels at the park and--
Opossum got in there. Creepiest creature you ever saw. Then that skunk...
The skunk did it. It made me decide this. The best way to close a door in life? Just close it. Slam it if you must. Turn around and walk away. Move on. Oh I know…very unromantic. I’m all for reminiscing (unlike my Dad, apparently) but…
The Circle of Life, remember? So not jolly. It would let you open that door and hang out in there, wishing things were different. It will gladly let you toboggan down a toxic hill and grow a third ear and probably have a good laugh about it. It’s not sentimental, it’s pragmatic. Also kinda mean. (psst…let’s whisper. I’m not sure how big my own personal “Circle of Life” will be if I get it mad).
It sees a bigger picture that we don’t. I mean, it could be a fantastic bigger picture? It could also be Salvador Dali’s “The Persistence of Memory”, we don’t know.
My parents are very sad to leave their house. They aren’t really sure how to handle it. They seem to need some parenting in the form of comforting hugs. Here’s the thing…I’m very sad to leave their house too! I seem to need some parenting in the form of comforting hugs as well!
So, look at that…turns out, it’s a win-win! We’ll all just console each other like sad, petulant children. Take that, Circle of Life, ha!
(psst…we’re still whispering, right?)
Creepy, beautiful, surreal. (life)