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2003-05-22 - 12:52 p.m.

When I think of my childhood, I immediately think of the wildflower, Bachelor Buttons.

They appeared like magic in my small town of Bend in Oregon. They showed up on the tree lawn to signal the beginning of seemingly endless days of outside play before the climate brought us once again, indoors to strengthen our imaginations.

The days of early childhood were uncomplicated. Something as unexpected, yet uncomplicated as the delivery of spring flowers could bring about a lasting memory.

My mother had received an inheritance from her absentee father at the age of 16. She was a ward of the state because living with her alcoholic mother has proven difficult if not impossible. The conditions of the will were such that she would need to marry, or surprisingly for that time, be twenty-one years of age in order to receive 1.6 million dollars.

My mother was deep into a two year crush on my father, who was interested in girls more for sport, not so much as companionship.

A chance meeting with my father at a swimming hole and a ride home sandwiched in the middle, a some heavy petting that went too far, and too uninvited.

My mother naively thought immediately that this meant that she was pregnant.

She called my father the next week and told him that she was going to have a baby and would have to get married. It was no secret to anyone in town that my mother had a big inheritance coming, and my father with no more future that any average clerk in a record store, third youngest of seventeen children in a poor family, did not hesitate to accept her proposal.

It would be more than two years before they actually had a child. His name was Glen Jr. Glen Jr. was a gender disappointment to my young mother. She had wanted a girl to dress up. A boy did not hold any promise for someone that was looking forward to buying dresses and bonnets and dolls.

Our Paternal Grandmother Ethel, causing my mother to be all the more unsettled in her relationship with this, her first child, doted on Glen. My mother claimed that she never felt her belonged to her, but rather she bore him for Ethel.

When I followed 9 months later, I was the perfect girl-doll that my young mother had been wishing for. She busied herself playing house whilst my father busied himself playing single. While the money lasted the relationship problems remained transparent.

 

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