To Mom and Dad on their 40th wedding anniversary:
(My parents will be celebrating 40 years of marriage on February 19th and were surprised with a celebration amidst the "winter kids' birthday party" this past Saturday. As part of their gift, I gave them 40 thanks, some of which you may be able to relate to, some of which confuse you. Enjoy!)
1. Thank you for meeting, falling in love, and getting married, because if you hadn’t, the past 37 years of my life would have been veeery different.
2. Thank you for having Jen first … as hard as it was being the youngest child, it must have been harder being the test child.
3. Thank you for setting the example of a loving, committed relationship.
4. Thank you for choosing our three family house in Ansonia where my earliest memories were born – in Tina and Tony’s garden, sitting on the wall looking at the swaying of the weeping willow, and Grampy ringing the bell and hiding around the corner when we answered the door.
5. Thank you for choosing to live on Quinn St. in Naugatuck - in a neighborhood full of childhood friends and lots of memories.
6. Thank you for rocking me and my bear in the wooden rocking chair in your room when I had trouble sleeping as a child.
7. Thank you for driving me to myriad doctor appointments, trips to the ER, rehearsals, lessons, practices, etc. I now appreciate Talbot’s Taxi more than you can imagine.
8. Thank you for not being perfect and not having all the answers.
9. Thank you for being involved in our education, being a band parent/president/vice president/treasurer/pit crew/ and all the other things you were involved in throughout the years.
10. Thank you for giving me roots, so that I might spread my own wings and fly.
11. Thank you for putting up with all the craft-making associated with the C#^!$+*@$ B@%@@^ .
12. Thank you for letting me sleep in your bed when I was very sick or very scared, even if it meant Dad had to sleep in mine.
13. Thank you for sleepovers at Nanna and Grampy’s house and for accepting “grandparent rules” like chocolate cream pie for breakfast … or did you not know about that?
14. Thank you for getting up for YEARS at the call of “Mom or Daaaaaayad!” because I was too scared of the snakes under my bed and the alligators in the toilet to go to the bathroom by myself in the dark.
15. Thank you for our treehouse in the big bush, the jungle gym, and snow forts.
16. Thank you for letting me wear completely mismatched clothes of every color and then putting up with me when my clothes had to MATCH EXACTLY.
17. Thank you for letting me walk/ bike to the brick house, then earn the freedom to go as far as Ernie’s Market/Marty’s Corner, then to Legion Field on my own (or with my sister) – each milestone was a memorable accomplishment in my young life and was a great lesson in trust and respect.
18. Thank you for putting up with last-minute costume changes (who knew a paper bag costume was so cool?) and for trick or treating with us…especially Dad in his pumpkin pants.
19. Thank you for believing me when I told you I was doing all the babysitting work when Jen and I were babysitting and trusting me to take care of the neighbors’ kids even though I was still a kid myself.
20. Thank you for being friends with our neighbors, and with many of my friends’ parents, and even with my teachers.
21. Thank you for supporting me when I needed time away from school and work to figure out who I was and what I was supposed to be doing in life.
22. Thank you for … cock-a-doodle-doo!
23. Thank you for helping Jim and I move back home and for putting up with us and our pets while we found work and a home of our own.
24. Thank you for not freaking out about Jim and I getting married just after we turned 21 – well, not to our faces, anyway.
25. Thank you for loving each other through the good, the bad and the ugly.
26. Thank you for loving me through the good, the bad, and the ugly.
27. Thank you for attending my children’s births, especially Coren and Alia’s homebirths, which were even more amazing because you were both there, sharing in the joy of a new life entering the world.
28. Thank you for your faith example.
29. Thank you for the music of my childhood. I believe it’s in part responsible for the strange person I am today.
30. Thank you for accepting the radical decisions I’ve made for my family, from homebirthing to homeschooling to nursing little people who can walk and talk and do math.
31. Thank you for making bank deposits for me, letting my kids hang out at your house while I’m at a meeting or appointment in town and all the other things you do to make my life easier, especially with how difficult my life has gotten over the past year.
32. Thank you for loving my children for their unique selves and for setting a good example for them … at least some of the time.
33. Thank you for introducing us to Calumet – you may never find peace and quiet there again!
34. Thank you for Christmas Eve Brunches and New Year’s Eve Lobster Tosses.
35. Thank you for being there with financial, emotional, and spiritual support during rough times.
36. Thank you for listening to NPR and instilling in me a life-long love of classical music and public radio programming and for taking me to classical music concerts, ballets, and other performances.
37. Thank you for getting cucumbers, but that’s not what they’re called.
38. Thank you for going seltzer! seltzer! … and sorry you forgot your elephant.
39. Thank you for lullabies that made me cry, or put images of people leaving on a jet plane, leaving their little girl in Kingston Town, being stuck on the MTA, or best of all, stabbing someone and preparing to be hanged.
40. And last, but certainly not least … thank you for your sense of humor – it must have served you well over the past 40 years!