“I’m not upset because I’ll miss you,” Mom said. “I’m upset because you get to go to New York and I’m stuck here. It’s not fair.” (237)
i’m making dinner, clearing french level 18 on duolingo, watching true detectives, and attempting to execute this blog entry, but i cannot go any further without expressing my complete and utter gratitude for yassin gaye-this is amazing work, thank you. once again, shoutout to nahright for making me aware.
what control do we have over what we inherit? what responsibility do we have as parents not to push our dreams onto our children (on purpose or through osmosis)? how do we influence our children just by living our lives? how do we influence our children by not living our lives? i’ve been thinking of benefitting from a co-worker’s homework as a child of a narcissistic parent, and that’s just us regular folk-what if your parents are jay-z and beyonce? kanye and kim? nas and kelis? erykah and andre? are things different now than they ever were? are they perhaps better off?
“Dad had the more inventive vocabulary, but Grandma Smith could outshout him; plus she had the home-court advantage.” (20)
“Mom’s writing was very creative. So was her spelling.” (30)
“Jack mackerel was not as good as tuna, but was better than cat food, which we ate from time to time when things got really tight.” (171)
much like anne lamott, i had the luxury of reading jeanette walls‘ story in reverse. well, this was maybe her intentional trajectory, this might have been the order in which she was ready to reveal her life. i can see why this would be a hard story to tell, and why it is the kind of thing that one simultaneously never wants to tell, and can’t move forward without telling. i don’t think it’s an accident that she made her career as a journalist-dedicated herself to facts because her facts were so much stranger than fiction. i’m not sure what her journey of shirking her inheritance looked like, but her final destination is one that looks pretty healthy and miraculous. this is a successful writing story, in my eyes. i don’t know that i would’ve been able to forgive the transgressions of her parents, but then again, who can argue the percentage of will in forgiveness? this story really proves that parents are people too-that they do the best that they can, and that they don’t. it’s heartbreaking when they let us down, but it’s also heartbreaking when they don’t. and it’s such a fine line between love and heartbreak. it’s a misconception that babies are more fragile-babies don’t know shit-it’s parents who walk around with the weight of expectation and fear and responsibility on their shoulders, and who can blame them for cracking? but that’s not to excuse the obligation to come around and fix the mistakes that they know they made. that’s the balance of the unequal relationship. that’s the commitment not to perpetuate cycles.
what’s the love of a golden zippy cup and presidential luncheons if your folks are just parading you around as the next level of their marketing campaign to manifest destiny? is it business as usual, or is it something different? should it be?