The Nicest Things

No one can compete in the nice department with my parents. They have shared so much of their time, resources, and wisdom with me. They are the most selfless people and I hadn’t realized that growing up.

Back before internet, and if I could not quench my curiosity with my collection of books, I asked lots questions. We would talk of origins of objects in the universe, ghosts, aliens, history, minerals, bugs, movies, current events, religion, and psychology. They no doubt sparked my interest in learning and had high expectations for me.

They inspired me to think about being an architect. I got to watch my dad remodel a couple of the homes we lived in. My mom would draw up the plans, they would go and buy all the materials and we’d knock out the lattice and plaster. They would talk over which beams they wanted to keep and which ones to remove, and which ones to add. My dad would do all the measuring (and remeasuring), cutting, insulation, electrical work, and nailing together. And my mom and I would plaster over the drywall and paint.

My parents were also busy with fun things as well. We went boating for a few years. The old little speedboat still sits in the forest in the back yard reminding me of those exausting tubing adventures, evaporating in the summer sun, and going fishing. We had fun visiting museums, zoos, and going roller skating.

My mom got me to push my limits on drawing. In first grade I was almost frustrated to tears trying to learn to draw from a drawing book. I felt if I could see what was in mind and project it on to the paper, and with enough patience for my hand to keep coordination I could draw whatever I imagined. But my mom gave me some strategies on tool use and remembering observations from other drawings. Later in college I would practice drawing what I see, and finding a way to fill up the page with a perpective, plus gesture drawings.

While we worked there was always music playing, and my dad let me play his guitar. We would sing country songs in the car together, or I would ask figurative questions like, “Why can’t humans fly?” But he replied, “We are right now. In this car, even though we are only a foot off the ground.” And he would quiz me on all the US units and how they converted to other units including some metric.

My mom made homemade Halloween costumes for me and my grandma. We made lots of crafts together with different kinds of clay like salt dough and paper mache. And I really liked to watch her make decorations, dolls, and carasol horses.

So many times my parents brought my brother and I shopping. And I loved to watch and help my mom cook. We were never in want of food, clothing, or utility. They are the best parents a human could ever ask for.


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