Thursday, October 28, 2010

"What do you remember most about your mother? Your father?"
Jennifer Traig, Part II The Autobiographer's Handbook

My mother was a classic 1950's housewife. My mother did all of the laundry, including ironing anything that could wrinkle. She did all of the cleaning. which involved compulsively vacuuming and regularly steam cleaning the carpet. She did all of the cooking and hosting for the holidays. She also hosted tea parties and dinner parties for friends and members of the church; she planned and prepared all of our family picnics. She cook classic German food, she cooked what her mother taught her to cook. The only chore I do not remember her doing alone was shopping; she did not drive or have a checking account, so my father went with her to Hamady Bros. My mother dedicated her life to being a mom, she mothered everyone she met, and there is not a person I know that has anything bad to say about my mother.

What I remember about my father was that he was strict. He lived by a set of rules, ones he learned from his father that he enforced on my brother and me. I am not sure if this set of rules was any harsher than other children's experiences in the 1950s and 1960s but in our house, there was little toleration for error.

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