Thursday, January 25, 2007

We had a family reunion in Cape Cod last August. We used to go there when we were kids. One year, for some reason, my little brother, my cousin and I were not allowed to go. The reason given was that we were too young. It's unclear why it's possible to be too young to go on vacation but old enough to stay home with a teenage babysitter while your parents and siblings were having fun in the sun.

It is my mom's fear that one of her 6 childen will write a "Mommy Dearest" type book which would essentially blame her for all of our personal failures. Who would do that, you ask? Why, I would -because that's how I roll. Anyway this is a letter I sent to my parents and my siblings before our reunion last year.

Hi Everyone,

Kathleen (sister) called to ask if I remembered what year everyone had gone to Cape Cod, while Kitty, Brendan, and I stayed home. I vaguely remember because Cindy had kittens while you all were gone. I went through my old journals and found a few notes on that time. It was the summer of 1967; Kitty and I were both 3 and Brendan was 1 year old. I was quite the little record keeper of note- my model airplane glue-sniffing phase would enter several years later allowing the other children to catch up with me intellectually.

June 2 1967

I can’t believe it. They actually left -everyone. Kitty, Brendan and I stood staring at the closed front door…silence. There were quick instructions and something about 10 days worth of peanut butter sandwiches in the freezer. If Kitty stands on my shoulders, holding Brendan up, we could reach the freezer- wobbling like a Russian acrobatic trio- performing as though our lives depended upon it, which of course it did. There was a halfhearted assurance that the electric bill had been paid. A few crumpled dollars lay on the table by the door for emergencies.

June 3, 1967

We’ve hired Brendan out as a bottle washer, his nimble little fingers are able to clean inside the bottleneck. He has a lovely little box that he stands on to reach the faucet. There has been some idle chatter that the factory might go down to a 12-hour day. We can only pray. He has become a sullen, stoic child- of course he’s only one.

June 4, 1967

I’m afraid that I’ve picked up a few bad habits hanging out in the street. I spend a lot of time leaning against the wall of Carl’s Deli, smoking cigarettes yelling out,

“So’s yer old man!!”

at anyone that passes. You’d think a 3 year old might have trouble getting smokes, but Carl is pretty cool.

June 5, 1967

Brendan has not been sharing his earnings and has taken up with some ne’er-do-well bottle washers. They refer to themselves as’ the dirty diaper brigade’. It is a tough, little group of monkeys with tiny fists of fury. I mostly try to stay clear of him; he has a temper, especially when he’s on the sugar.

I had to bail Kitty out of jail again… this is getting ridiculous. Our little Fantine (after the haircut) is quite the entrepreneur.

Received a postcard from the Cape.

Beautiful weather, we are tan and happy

Love, Your Parents

It was a lovely card, although my shaking hands made it hard to read. It is June but I’m cold…oh, so cold.

There was more but I’m just going to curl up in a little ball and stay quiet for a while. Looking forward to the reunion, thanks for including me.


Anonymous said...

Wow, and you're not published. Or maybe you are and I just don't know. I'm kind of envious. Poor kids. I bet you had to trudge uphill in the snow, just to get to work, too.

alphawoman said...

Funny. I love the name Brendan. Must have some irish in ya.

sarala said...

Very funny. Your poor parents. Makes me want to write my memoirs immediately.
I like your blog so far. I'll keep reading.