[Yes, ninety-nine percent of my life can be enhanced with a song lyric or an episode of The Cosby Show.]
Alternatively, this post could be titled ‘Why Katie’s father is not a kind man.’
A week ago, Rylie received a package from her grandparents in Tejas. It was full of loverly things a child dreams of… Milk Duds, Whoppers, a bug box, mardi gras beads, a hand-drawn picture. She is very loved.
There was also a sealed manila envelope with the chicken-scratch ‘for Curtis James’ on it. I was lucky to marry a boy my family adores. He can fix his own car, do his own taxes, and load his own gun. The boy often talks to my family without my prodding and they pass papers back and forth without me playing the middle man. I figured the envelope contained some kind of Boy Message… maybe a clipping of a cabin for sale or life insurance information. Who knows. I left it unopened. Later that day when I talked to my father I asked, “What’s in the envelope, Pop?” And he said, “Well… it’s kind of hard to explain. Curt would do a better job.” This instantly made me lose all interest as I assumed it had something to do with next year’s hunting permits or the chassis on a ’56 Chevy. I forgot all about it.
The next morning, I noticed the envelope… now opened… on the counter. I circled it once or twice, checked my ‘other person’s mail’ etiquette book, and removed the contents of the envelope. This is what I found:
Katie… turning 2. If there was ever any doubt that Rylie is my child, please note the scowl on my face. It is atom for atom Rylie. Also, please note that I ROCK the polyester quilted robe. My hair is all static-y right now just thinking about it.
Katie… first grade. Here we move into the ‘I will not smile with my teeth’ phase which lasted about 7 years. I’m pretty sure my bangs started at the back of my head. This also began my stress-induced cold sore stage which, as of this year, has not ended yet. And the dress… oh, how I loved that dress.I would have chosen the red/blue plaid backdrop for this photo, but I WAS WEARING IT.
Katie… 6th grade and exactly 10 years after the first photo. I don’t even know where to start with this one. The perm? The feathered bangs that I cut myself? The JC Penney knit sweater over a printed turtleneck? THE BEAR PIN?
I just don’t understand what I ever did to that man to make him do this to me.