Reading Jen's account of her father made my mind immediately refer to my own. He was not a salesman, rather a man that traveled the world before the age of 18, born in Indo, refugee in Sri Lanka, immigrant to Holland, citizen of the USA now. He came wanting something for himself, his children. He came with his own dream.
He was 28 when he met my Mama. He asked God to give him a wife and make him a millionaire. He found her months later and married her immediately. He told me once he is a millionaire, if he were to add all the money he has made over his lifetime. I always love thinking of money in that way, as an accumulated wealth that I do not need to have right here in my pocket. I had it and used it and it moved on.
He taught me a lot of things, how to always change and try new things. He forced me outside of my comfort zone at all times. He made me wake up at 5 a.m. when I was 10 or so to do family morning yoga with all my siblings, babies rolling in the middle of our circle in the darkish early morning light. We were sullen and pissed about the wake up but within 15 minutes we were stretched and loosened and alive to the day. He insisted we lay hands on each other and bless each other at the end of each session. I still do yoga three times a week because of him. He made me drink spirulina when I was in competitive gymnastics because it would heal my strained muscles. He made me listen to Bob Dylan while trapped in our one hour commute to his work/my high school. He gave me the sex talk. Yes he did.
As the primary man in my early life, he never limited me. Let me be, from the day I walked out of the house at 2 protesting his discipline of me. He went on to have 8 kids, was that a dream of his? I do not know, but damn, the man has done it well. With his own dreamer at his side, my Mama. They just go together in so many ways, so to me, they are my inspiration to dream.
Somehow, on a fairly slim income, they raised eight kids, made sure they all went to college and to this day, still wait up when one kid is out. They are far from perfect, believe me, and I know this intimately due to our cohabitation, but then they are far from flawed. And in some odd way, I know they will be a part of fulfilling the dream I have for our lives, for my present family. They are present family, all of us under one roof, just the way the Indos did it. I think my Dad has his dream, when he looks at us.
Returning to writing now...after having dinner and working our way through the early evening berserk phase that 2.75 year old boy twins inevitably go through right after dinner...now with a few wry additional comments because of said hour...
You know, both of my parents are my best example of dreamers. In part because they are still living a full life and working at redefining themselves and their roles. And in part because they are living proof that you do not have to lose your mind during the raising of your kids. Which is how I feel right now. Funny, I love those boys so, but they can suck the life right out of my musing on dreams with a few shrill shrieks and tag team tantrums. Gotta' work on that.
My parents this December on their 39th Anniversary Day