Progenitors: Part I

To get a few things sorted, I will state that I was not actually raised by any sort of actual wolf. Like Carolyn, who Buddy the Elf meets in the pediatrician’s waiting room, I’m a human, raised by humans. I will also state: I’m completely aware that my parents did the best they could, with who they were at the time.

My parents were both 2nd to last children, in families bearing 9 and 10 kids respectively. They were born less than a month apart, during the same year, some time between the market crash of 1929 and the bombing of Pearl Harbor. They both had older brothers who fought in WWII. My dad grew up in a farming community, my mom in, what was then, a very small town just north of Seattle. Both my granddads did what ever they could to provide food, clothes, and shelter for their families. My grandmothers were both gentle and kind, loved their partners, and worked hard to run the families, raise the kids, keep the vegetables growing, assisting their spouses when the kids were still too young to help out. They were undoubtedly stretched very thin in the amount of direct attention and love they could lavish on any one particular child.

My parents met each other in college. My mom was studying nursing, my dad studying languages, primarily spanish, and teaching. They married and became parents 3 years later. Before my sister was born, my folks moved into my maternal grandparents house to save money while building their own house on property purchased from my granddad. They moved in shortly after their first child arrived. Three years later, I arrived at the house, and after another 2 1/2 years, my younger sister showed up as well.

3, 1, 6

My memories of young childhood are mostly warm, softly lit pictures: playing store on the sunny front porch; hanging on to my dad’s ankles as he made his way to the door each morning, dragging squirming lumps across the floor, delighted at being loved so much; my mom ironing in the kitchen, the floor made very slippery by the overshot ironing spray; the enormous television set with doors from which we weren’t allowed to watch Adam West as Batman; the coir matting carpet that could skin a knee almost as efficiently as the gravel driveway; snuggling on the armless sofa as my mom read us stories; and the beautiful Christmas trees we cut from our own 5 acres-gangly, wide-gapped branches, allowing plenty of room to hold our extensive collection of handmade ornaments and tinsel.

My parents seemed pretty happy. My dad loved being a dad to us 3 young ones.




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