Today marks the first of homeschool semester two for us. It’s our first day back after a two week Christmas hiatus and we’re on a whole new schedule. I’ve spent more than one restless night and countless hours huddled over books and keyboards with a cramped butt, preparing for this. So it’s kind of a big deal. But yesterday, buried deep in the business of procrastinating out of inescapable boredom, I spent a lot of time hashing out last minute plans with my mom for something else – and it’s all I’ve got on the brain today.
Twenty-five years they’ve been married now. That’s just… pretty cool, you know? I don’t have a lot of time to write, and literally no time to even glance this over for a spell check, so I won’t get all sappy on you. But not a lot of (almost) 27 year old kids can say that about their mom and dad. I’m planning most of the anniversary party myself, which is intimidating in a way that sort of overshadows the little bouts of trepidation I have about staying organized for school. But I figure it’s mostly like planning a wedding inside out, and since I got married before Pinterest, let’s just say — I shall have my fun pulling this off.
Yesterday I had her drop off an old oval canvas that used to hang in a thick gold frame at their house. Back before their house was “their” house because I was a kid so it was mostly mine and they just kind of hung around to pay bills and cook. It’s always been one of my favorites. My dad looked similar enough in it, but my mom looked so young and somehow (though I can’t put my finger on how) un-motherly, that it wasn’t hard to imagine them having a life before me, being boyfriend and girlfriend instead of husband and wife. For some reason, I don’t know… that was cool to me.
I hadn’t seen it up in years, though. Over time, our own school pictures were turned into Christmas tree ornaments as the toothless grins of my nieces and nephews took their place. Then it was JCPenny photo shoots of grandchildren, with my own babies squeezed in between a still-growing number of cousins, infiltrating the wall space. There’s a wall dedicated to vintage, hueless photos of generations spanning both sides of the family, in a tasteful collage style of intentionally mismatched frames about the couch. But the oval canvas wasn’t one of them. I guess it wasn’t vintage enough to make the cut. Or mom just doesn’t want to believe it is, which is more likely.
Coincidentally, my mom’s debut novel (!) is due for release a month before the big anniversary. So during a shoot for her author’s bio, she asked the photographer to snap a few of them arm in arm at one of their favorite spots. The best one was put in one of those massive, elaborately matted frames, on which my mom is constantly teased about spending too much money and way too much wall space. “Well,” she defended to me one day, “it’s the first professional photo we’ve had taken of ourselves in… well…” She looked up at my dad as if for rhetorical help, like looking at him was helping her to figure it out more than actually asking him would. “Since I was pregnant with you.”
I realized as we were talking over facebook yesterday morning, that that old oval picture would have been taken around the year they were married. At which point she reminded me again that they didn’t know it yet, but I was there too — holdin’ it down embryo style. I had to have it. She dug it up and dropped it off at noon.
I don’t even know what I’m going to do with it for the party, except to have it on the event page of facebook.
But isn’t it cool?