Keds and Family, Then and Now

When I was in high school, I was completely embarrassed by my parents. It was never anything that either of them did. In fact, they were — by teenagers’ standards — kind of cool.

We were always allowed to have friends over, even encouraged. They bought us great clothes, nice cars, paid for the movies and other activities … So really, there was not one reason to be ashamed of these two people who created me, cultivated my personality, supported my every decision, and paid for the essentials (and then some).

Today was like any other Saturday — wake up, eat breakfast, take a shower, and head off to Mom and Dad’s. As usual, my sister and my two-year-old nephew were on their way, too. We spent the day watching Across the Universe (as they sang Beatles lyrics), eating pizza and calamari, and just laughing. I will take these simple memories with me always, and hope to share them with my kids (if/when I have them) someday.

Hmmm … Oddly, I was wearing my new Keds flats.

I wore a great number of these back in high school — the most common, being the white ones with laces. The brand has since created funkier versions, more stylish yet comfortable choices. That’s when I remembered how ashamed of my parents I once was (and like I said, for no reason). Now here I am, 15 years later, and I’m so proud to have the parents that I have.

Not everyone can say they get along with their parents. I talk to mine like they’re my best friends. We can pick on each other in good faith, but understand when seriousness is absolutely necessary.

I once cried in my father’s arms after a rough break-up.

Some can’t even say they’re lucky to have their family. From feuds to mistakes, some people even deny their relatives. But here I am, 28 with an apartment an hour (maybe more with traffic) away and the one thing I look forward to during the week are these great Saturdays back in the home I grew up, with the parents that I have, and the pride that overcomes me.


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