Monday, March 29, 2010

Oh. That explains everything.

Every once in awhile I buy a used book because of the cover.
This was one of them:

Have you ever heard of Cynthia Kaplan before? Me either. Good golly she's funny. I had a feeling I'd like her work when I read the Author's Note on that page with all the legal details. It says, "I have changed the names of some people and some places because my editor made me."

(That legal page? Says, "No part of this book may be reproduced in any matter whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews." So let's just call this blog post a review. A critical review.)

Can we all agree that it's rare to read a book that has you laughing out loud? With the exception of Janet Evanovich and Bill Bryson, I don't think any other writers have made me giggle. Audibly. But two nights ago, I chuckled:

" Hey, you know how your doctor and your mother and all the books and everyone you ever trusted in your entire life and even your own common sense told you that when you got pregnant you would stop menstruating? They lied. You don't. You still get your period. It just comes out your nose. Do not be alarmed. You'll get used to it."

It wasn't until I read that, that I remembered all the nosebleeds I had while pregnant. She ends the vividly descriptive paragraph with this thought, "Someone could make a lot of money in the nose-tampon business."

So. Aside from being tremendously entertained reading her memoirs, I've found this book to be thought-provoking as well. How she got to be the way she is, is partially due to where she came from. Who her people were. The family she had. The experiences she's experienced. (She writes a few chapters about her grandma. The grandma with dementia due to Alzheimer's. Gut wrenching.)

About a year ago when I was going head to head with Max he blurted, "You don't know what it's like to grow up in a family where your mom and dad are divorced." Naturally, because I am an idiot, I got defensive and challenged him, "What's so bad about our family?" And then, because I am even more of an idiot, I one-upped him, saying, "Do you think my life's been easy?"

Like a bad burp, his words keep coming back at me. Over and over. Like, a few weekends ago, I was at the cabin for the first overnighter in a year, with some friends. We chatted about the olden days when I spent most of the summer and at least one weekend a month up there with the kids. And I shared how they gave me a rough time every single time I suggested we go. And they concluded that my kids are morons. And then they asked why I don't just go up there by myself and I said, "I don't need to come up here for solitude. I have that already in my own home. And my home in Langley has everything I need... I like it there. I have made it mine."

And somehow, in verbalizing that, I all of a sudden realized that my kids felt the same way about our home. During the week they'd go back and forth between my house and their dad's house and they looked forward to simply spending the weekend in their own rooms for 3 consecutive nights, surrounded by their things, close to their friends. They didn't 'need' anything that could be found at the lake. No wonder they balked at being relocated on weekends.

I was at home 5 days in a row (and during those early divorce years, my home was our Brookswood home for awhile, dad/mom's house for awhile, our Fraser Heights home for awhile, back to the farm for awhile and finally Murrayville. For me, I looked forward to the stability and peace at the lake.)

So. Clint, Max, and Drew? I'm sorry for not really hearing your objections. And I'm sorry that your growing up years sucked. And if you ever write books about why you are the way you are, I hope you go easy on me and your dad. There are alot of things we could probably have done better.

ANYWAY, getting back to MY life. And why I am the way I am...
Partially It's because of were I came from. And how I was raised. And the people I started my journey with. And the friends who stuck by along the way. And it because of the God who created me. And the Christ who died for me. And the Spirit that lives in me. And I am who I am because these two crazy teens fell in love when they were 13 and 17:

I know, right?

(We weren't allowed to have boyfriends/girlfriends in our bedrooms/on our beds. Yet looky here. And they are so not married. Plus ... my dad is illiterate. So he's just looking at pictures. What kind of mags are they reading? Looks like a Star Weekly. Which is probably alot like People. This is helpful in explaining who I am.)

(That's Capilano Suspension Bridge behind them.)

She was 19. He was 23.
I came along two years later and my mom's hair got piled two feet higher.

I never doubted for a minute that my dad loved me. He did.

Three things I'm thankful for:
1. God, my dad and my mom love me.
2. My kids too have a God, a dad and a mom who love them.
3. Scanners.



My Thots said...

Thank you Jane for this great reminder. It's nice to meet someone who isn't ashamed of their past or family. We are who we are and that's okay!

Anonymous said...

Would this be a book club book? rose