My mom's organization has been asking its employees to start trimming the volume of emails they keep in storage. As a result, she has been going back through some very comprehensive archives that she could barely recollect even existed. This little seemingly inane task has actually been incredibly rewarding for us because she has dug up some emails that my dad had sent ages ago.
Reading through them has been very bittersweet. First of all, it has been great for me and my sister to see that our parents, even after a difficult divorce, still communicated regularly and amicably about us and their conversations back and forth show that they had remained close friends and equal opportunity parents after all these years. Second, it is incredible to see how much parents worry and discuss their children behind our backs. I mean this strictly in a positive light. For example, in 2001 I was diagnosed with keratoconus, which is an affliction of the cornea that causes very poor vision and can only be controlled with hard contact lenses. This was very difficult for both of my parents, and I would argue perhaps a bit more difficult for my dad based on the long distance that separated us. This was certainly evident in the emails. My mom carried the same worry with her, but had the benefit of seeing me every day and knowing that I was in no danger. And finally, it is humorous to see my father and mother discuss events about me and my sister and see their takes on the happenings of the day.
Here are some excerpts, which have been translated and provided with context as necessary:
(1) Following my high school graduation in 2001 (from the humorously named Poudre High School) I went to Argentina for 6 months to spend time with family.
"Nico is doing well. He is always in a good mood and enjoys everything we do...We talk and go out a lot and we both have a very ironic sense of humor. His sense of humor is not the only thing he gets from me - he is also very inconsistent. It is very difficult for him to follow through on anything that he starts. He started playing hockey here, he bought the hockey stick (which he quickly destroyed at the first practice). I went to the store and tried to exchange it by saying that it was damaged, but I am afraid it is our son that may be 'damaged.' He then bought a chest protector, spent all his money and now he doesn't go anymore....One of the topics we have broached is the difficulty he has 'socializing' with the girls. I would prefer on some Saturdays that he go out with groups of kids his age. I don't force him to do anything, but at least we have talked about it. In this regard, I can assure you he is not like me."
(2) On the same 6 month trip to Argentina, I took a brief trip to Buenos Aires, and my dad takes his opportunity to air some grievances to my mom:
"I just spoke to Nico and he arrived safely in Buenos Aires. I just thought you should know that he is starting to become somewhat expensive for me - and not for what he is making me spend, but rather for what he is breaking. I lent him my watch, which I have worn continuously for more than 10 years. In less than 24 hours he broke it. He tried to open my closet while the latch was closed. He gave it an enormous tug, broke the latch, made the frame fly across the room and separated some of the wood from the door of the closet. Fortunately, my life was miraculously spared since I was away from the scene of the accident. Yesterday at the bus station, my mother went to give him a kiss on his hand. He made a sudden movement with those enormous sausage like fingers on his hand and struck my poor mother's jaw. I almost had to go looking for her detached head at gate number 28. All kidding aside, my mother's jaw was swollen last night....It's a good thing his career path is the law instead of gynecology."
(3) My sister studied abroad in Germany her junior year in high school. Here are some communications relating to that experience.
"On Tuesday I talked to her. The mother answered and I can't even tell you what our communication was like. I spoke to her in 'my English' because I think it is closer to German than my Spanish, and she talked to me in 'her English' which is unlike any other human language....[On Sunday] I tried to scold her by jokingly telling her that how could it be possible that we had to deprive ourselves of sleep to wait until 4am to call her. She was happy to hear from us and told us she was up and waiting to go to church. Nico and I had a good laugh about this new experience of hers. I told her that now that she was going to be attending church every Sunday that maybe she would become a nicer person."
So, the moral of the story is that parents are neat. And that is all I have to say about that.