Along with a large population of people my age, I’ve spent a lifetime sifting through my mommy and daddy issues.
Through this, I have come to realize that I have gotten a lot of amazing qualities from my parents.
I have daddy’s ability to quietly watch and access situations.
I have mama’s ability to announce what I’ve noticed without worrying about what happens after I’ve said it. It get’s me into trouble from time to time, but I like to think that it’s more of an act of bravery to say what you’re thinking. Foolish bravery, but bravery nonetheless. Thank God that as I become older, my delivery is much more appropriate and colorful.
I have both my parent’s sense of humor. They are hilarious.
I have mama’s silver tongue. We spent years on our polyester-ish sofa that my parents brought back from Germany laughing at Eddie Murphy or Robert Townsend. We did a lot of things together, and laughing was a daily occurrence in the McGill house. Weekends that we weren’t busy with sports, we all sat in our den watching movies and television shows on Fox that may have been deemed inappropriate for children our age, laughing our asses off.
I had cool parents. They weren’t the ‘cool’ parents that let you have boy-girl sleepovers or get drunk “as long as we don’t drive” they were cool because they listened to cool music. They had cool interests, and they did cool things together. They had hobbies that fit their personalities and unique talents.
My dad used to bring home to my mother sketchbooks from his job. I remember her always getting excited, and would go to work almost immediately. I don’t ever recall seeing her draw, but she always let me see the sketchbooks after she was done. She drew things that she was passionate about, and each sketch depicted such personal, sometimes haunting stories that I can to this day see in my mind. I was probably a teenager the last time I saw those sketchbooks, but I’ll never forget the one depicting abuse. I was probably seven or eight when I first saw it, and was always drawn to it. I studied it, studied the shading that she eventually taught me to do on my own.
I wanted to draw as well as she did. To me, everything she drew had life. It could have been just a single object, but I was always inspired to give it a story, a purpose. My parents bought us all sketchbooks and paints, so I set to work. I couldn’t draw hands or noses, and grew frustrated. I decided I would rather describe them instead. My sketchbook was full of crude drawings with written stories surrounding them. I didn’t realize until now that my mama was in part responsible for my love of writing. I wanted so much to be like her that when I couldn’t exactly mimic her powerful drawings, I chose to dictate what her sketchbooks made me see instead.
Thank you, Mama.
In seeking the best in you as a child, I was able to bring out the best in me.
I can only hope that in the years to come Blake can find out what’s best in him through his favorite things in all of us.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mama.
I love you.