They’re crazy. What else would you like to know?
They’ve been together for a long, long time.
They changed their Anglo names to African names shortly before I was born. My dad must have had really good game – I’m not sure there’s anything Smoochy could say to me to get me to change my name.
My mom is short and full of life. She loves her life, is unapologetic about it. If you try to rain on her parade, she’ll push you in the path of a float and continue to party on – I kid. Kinda. She’s really cool people and if she worries about anything, I don’t know it. Any/everytime I call her with a problem/issue/conundrum, her answer is the same “oh, don’t worry about it.” Um, thanks Mom. But really, she’s right. Everything works itself out in the end. Of course, I don’t know if she’s being wise and sagacious or if that’s just a generic answer which happens to work in any situation. Hmmm….She instilled in me a love of travel. She took me to Europe when I was 12, on a cruise to Mexico with a bunch of drunk retirees when I was 13, and to a gay/lesbian/transgender parade in Long Beach when I was 15 – she thought we were at a family fun fest and loved all of the rainbow earrings and bracelets. Sigh. What else? Did I mention that she’s short? Well, she is. But somehow, she’s only recently realized this. She’ll look at family pictures and say stuff like “why do y’all look so tall?” Umm, because we hover just under or way above 6 feet and you’re just a touch or two over 5 feet! She’s not a traditional huggy, kissy, bake you some cookies Mom. But she will take you to the store and buy you cookies. You know how people go home and say stuff like “oooh wee, I can’t wait to get home and have some of my Mama’s sweet potato pie/potato salad/fried chicken/pound cake?” I’m pretty sure none of us have ever uttered such. She does, however, make a mean bowl of oatmeal. My mother is awesome and if I can be half the mother to Lovegirl that she is to the four of us, I’ll consider myself a successful mama!
My dad is tall and chill. Apparently he used to be the life of the party – there is little evidence of this on a daily basis, but if you get the man on a dance floor, he will bust a move worthy of the Soul Train line. My father is all about knowledge – getting as much of it as you possibly can. When we were young, he used to torture us spend quality time with us, taking us to museums and zoos and quizzing us about various exhibits and animals. To this day, he is amazed that I have no idea how a carburetor works or what the natural habitat of a kudu is. The man is a walking dictionary. Whenever anybody needs to know something? We call him. Of course, we may not understand the answer, but we know he’ll have one. He’s addicted to zip off pants. Don’t know what those are? Consider yourself blessed. They’re exactly what they sound like – pants, which zip off at the knees to become shorts. Handy for all types of situations. Or so I’ve heard. My mom was the disciplinarian but I do remember one instance when I was 15 or 16 and said something smart to my dad. All I remember is being lifted up by my collar, pinned to my bulletin board and thinking “hmm, I probably should’ve kept my mouth shut.” I’m sure he gave me some sort of lecture, but I was too shocked to listen! Anyhoo, my dad has become a lot more chill than he was when we were at home – I guess retiring from youth corrections and getting four kids out of your house helps one reach a place of zen. He is a big hit with his grands as his noise-making repertoire is par excellence! Lovegirl calls him just so they can sing a song about a crow named Joe. He’s also loosened up as it relates to his once steadfast “no refined sugar” rule and has been known to pump little kids full of candy and sweets – all before noon. Love him dearly! If he knew his picture was on the internet….he’d kill me!