Monday, July 2, 2012

Bloody Hell

My mother generally took the high road in all things including parenting. At least she did as often as possible. She was so careful not to yell at us that I think the onus of punishment fell squarely on the shoulders of my father. He had no qualms about yelling, insulting and humiliating us. Maybe he used up all the available wrathful energy, who knows?

Because she was careful, I can remember distinctly the few times she did yell at me. There was that time when I sat in front of the patio door, absent mindedly poking holes in the screen with a pencil. I must have been very bored. I enjoyed it. It was soothing, kind of like popping bubble wrap bubbles, you know? I was jerked out of my meditational revery when my mother snapped, "Oh great. Now the really BIG bugs can get in!" I was so startled by her sarcastic outburst I stopped immediately. Remembering that incident makes me laugh.

Another time she yelled at me was in the midst of a terribly hot Kansas City summer before our house was air conditioned. We had a big box shaped fan into which we poured ice and water. The air that blew through the ice was slightly cool. I'm sure you can imagine the familial warfare over whose turn it was to sit in front of it. When my mother was pregnant with my brother Josh, she actually asserted her rights more often than at other times. She hardly ever put herself first. It was a good thing, I think.

Anyway, The Incident I'm remembering was during a super hot summer, on a weekend so we were all at home, packed like sardines into our 1,100 s.f. house - both parents and four kids, jammed into that tiny space. (And I wonder why life was so tense? Good lord.)

I was complaining, loudly. I was whining. I was whinging and apparently I went on and on about how hot it was. Finally my mother, the absolute paragon of emotional control, yelled, "THANK YOU BECKY! If not for YOU, how would we KNOW??" It was very uncharacteristic of her. The shock shut me up immediately.

She was hot, too, apparently. Anyway I'm thinking about her because it's too damn hot in DC. The weather people tell us we're in for at least a couple of weeks of non-stop miserable heat. No rain in the forecast.

Remembering that day, I think I'll keep my opinions about the heat to myself. A good idea, yes? I say yes.



ellen abbott said...

The whole global climate is wacky. I can sympathize. Last summer here was brutal. Recoed highs broken nearly every day and no rain. They were predicting the same for this summer but so far it is much better. Hot, yes, but we are still getting rain.

Stay in the shade. Stay cool.

Reya Mellicker said...

Thanks, Ellen!

The Bug said...

I think bloody hell describes it quite well, actually :)

We had another (much smaller) storm yesterday which cooled off the air enough that Mike & I grilled marshmallows last night! We each ate three & felt slightly ill. Next time we'll probably only have one each.

Reya Mellicker said...

Ha!! Love you Dana!

Pam said...

Hahaha! We Aussies love our screen doors - we'd be invaded by every type of buzzy and crawly thing without them.
I don't know how I'd manage with children, husband pregnancy, and heat thrown in together - it seems like in each instance your mother held it together as long as she could!
I laughed reading this.Your glimpse into family life is reassuring for all of us who lived through the sibling and parent scenario and emerged (relatively??) unscathed on the other side.

Steve Reed said...

Parents can be unintentionally funny when they're exasperated, can't they?

Angela said...

I cannot imagine you as Becky, Reya. Have you grown out of that name, too? We all must grow out of our childhood, and all the things that our parents taught us or just let us watch. That was them, and we are we now.
This is our chosen life, and we can look back without anger. Good feeling.
In north Germany we have had some thunderstorms, but all in all nice moderate weather. I don`t envy your heat!

Reya Mellicker said...

I never related to the name Becky.

Steve that's the perfect word: exasperated. Yeah

Reya Mellicker said...

I never related to the name Becky.

Steve that's the perfect word: exasperated. Yeah

Tom said...

shade never felt better.

Rose from Oz is Back! said...

I haven't been by in a while Reya, and I've caught up on your last few posts. I always leave either inspired, contemplative, questioning, motivated, challenged, visually happy because of your wonderful photographs but always just bloody glad I called by.
Have a great one, and may the heat ease up!

Reya Mellicker said...

Thanks, Rose. It's great to "see" you.

Jo said...