All About My Mother2 and Parenting Skills

          The prefixes great- and grand- before "parent" measure both the distance along a family tree and (oft-times inappropriately) imply a distinguished performance, therefore, I'll use more algorithmic pronouns.  Grandfather is father2; great-grandparents are parents3 (ad infinitum).

          My parents5 (on mom's-father2s-side) would have thought the need for parenting skills was as ridiculous a concept as paying for water.  They came from people of means.  This was New England in healing-from-civil-war American times!  Not only was indoor plumbing making it easier to relieve oneself with comfort—no more trudging to the outhouse in the middle of the night with a kerosene lantern and a Sears & Roebuck catalog—but this newfangled electricity-thingy was making all manner of things easier.  Just in time too.  The first Republican president's emancipation-thingy meant you had to cut back on the unpaid-household staff and all the nannies had been the first to go.

          My parents4, proud Bullards from the northern Bullard stock, sent their son (father3) to Exeter Academy.  He matriculated to Harvard with all of his schoolmates as was expected of him.  After college, he married a Davis (mother3).  She was also from a family of means and her uncle5 had been Isaac Davis.

          My father2 was shipped off to boarding school just like his father a legacy at Exeter Academy.  Unlike his father, however, he dropped out of Harvard because he impregnated my mother2 and needed a job now that he was all-but-disowned.  His mother, always very full of herself, said to him—about my mother2—"How could you?  With the low-born offspring of common grammar school teachers!  Your life is over!  Now you'll never amount to anything."

          My mom—the compound-product of generations of the never-parented—couldn't attend Exeter Academy like her brother (my uncle) because of that unfortunate born-with-a-vagina-thingy.  Instead, she got a summer waitressing job at The House on the Hill, an inn and restaurant in Kennebunkport, Maine, run by my father's parents.  Mom did, however, fully embrace her parent's pregnant-before-marriage-thingy.  And then dad had to stop busing tables and join the Navy in order to support his newly formed unplanned family.

          I never knew my dad, Leverett Glines, nor any of his ancestors because my mother divorced him when I was just three and then moved us back-in with her parents—my parents2—whom I called Nana and Papa.

          For the few years we lived at Nana and Papa's house (until my mom re-married and we moved in with my 2dad) Nana would oft times attempt to lull me to sleep, naptime and bedtime, by playing music on the 45rpm record player which was always positioned on the back of the organ, or by playing the organ itself.  Of the stack of 45's she played over-and-over, I strongly remember only one.  This one.  And every time I hear this song, Canadian Sunset by Hugo Winterhalter, I remember my Nana.


          Nana...who recognized she'd been a terrible parent and tried to make up for it by cutting all the crust off her 2son's Fluffernutters made with Wonderbread and slicing them into strips she called "little soldiers."  Nana, who put a scoop of vanilla in my rootbeer and called it a "Brown Cow frappé".  Nana, who—referring to her scornful mother-in-law—said:  "Great-Nana Bullard somehow thinks being distantly related to the only damn-fool-idiot killed by the 'shot heard round the world' is somethin to be so very proud of."

          I have absolutely no parenting skills (and don't miss not having them, either).  Is that because of my genetics?  My environment?  Probably because of heaping dollops of both.

          This is Ginny's Day 5:  A song that reminds you of someone.

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