Comforting things

on becoming our parents

We had a very interesting conversation at our most recent book club, having just read The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman .  It was a good book but not my favourite, a little too fantasy-ish for me.  I did, however, enjoy the viewpoint of childhood that was presented.

It was a good discussion because of the group dynamics mostly; there were only four of us- two being sisters and Lea and I being cousins.  So we had a lot of commonalities in our observations about how sometimes our parents remind us of our grandparents and how even now, we can hear our parents in the things we say. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but there are qualities that I don't want to inherit either; nobody is perfect.

“Grown-ups don't look like grown-ups on the inside either. Outside, they're big and thoughtless and they always know what they're doing. Inside, they look just like they always have. Like they did when they were your age. Truth is, there aren't any grown-ups. Not one, in the whole wide world.”~The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

The thing is, I can recall how I viewed my parents and even my grandparents, as a child- we had a close enough relationship with both sets of grandparents that we knew them very well.  And there were specific characteristics that they had that were uniquely theirs.

Grandma Diehl asked things three times, would wait on you hand and foot and always asked how you were doing- she took so much pride in your accomplishments.

Grandpa Diehl loved to play cards, gave the best cuddles and knew how to joke around to make you smile, even when you didn't want to.

ERMAGERD is that a little Lucia or what....
Grandma Park always had something delicious to feed you, she was very level-headed and never showed frustration and she was cheery all the time.

Grandpa Park loved to hear stories, was calm and quiet but short tempered (oh, how I did get scolded when RenĂ©e and I faught) and was my number one ball fan- I can still hear his voice when I bat.  Hit it out of the park, Deena.

“Childhood memories are sometimes covered and obscured beneath the things that come later, like childhood toys forgotten at the bottom of a crammed adult closet, but they are never lost for good.” 

Now my parents are obviously going to have different memories of their parents, as we see things so innocently as children and I'm sure my children will view my parents quite differently than I see them.  I have great memories of my Mom and Dad.

Mom was always happy but if she snapped I knew to get out of her way- we would butt heads like mad we were so much alike.
She was very present in our every day life and made many sacrifices just so we could have the nice clothes we wanted.
She was and is still very much a positive influence, always cheery and willing to help.
My Dad was my coach and my role model in ball.  Although I didn't always love having my Dad as my coach, I can say that the skills I learned from him were so important to my development.  Dad was willing to do anything for his kids at the drop of a hat and always had a level head when dealing with major problems- especially when you or your boyfriend, or your friend wrecked a car.

Already I can see many pieces of my grandparents coming out in my parents-the good and the bad.
Aging is inevitable, which makes me wonder how closely my parents will resemble their parents in the end. And if that is the way things naturally trend, then what qualities of my parents will I possess?  When I consider all of this, it does make the big picture seem a tad bit smaller- it shows me how closely linked families are.

Which brings me to think of how my kids view me right now and what memories I am creating that will forever be forged in their minds.

“I do not miss childhood, but I miss the way I took pleasure in small things, even as greater things crumbled.” 

What are some of your favourite childhood memories?


  1. I love your family Deena! They are just the BEST! Great post!

  2. love all of those pictures. Great post! Some of my favorite memories, while not one night stands out or one conversation, just sitting around the dinner table every night laughing about everything and anything.

  3. Great post, and what wonderful pictures! I totally see myself doing things just like my mom -some good, some not so good!


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