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Mr. Brown went to Boston
A Daughter’s Memoir

by Gail Hope Baldwin ©2013, Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-935232-73-5, 138 pp
 

It’s often said that we don’t truly appreciate our parents until we become parents ourselves.

While I’m not a parent, other than a pet parent, I do appreciate my parents and the sacrifices they made for me, my sisters, each other, and later, their sons-in-law.

 

When my husband and I finally decided we would not have children, I apologized to my parents, thinking they would be disappointed in the prospect of fewer grandchildren. My mother said, “I’m working now anyway, so I wouldn’t be able to help you. ” My father said, “That’s okay.

Kids don’t always turn out so great, you know. ” I hope he wasn’t talking about any of his own kids.

 

At first, my in-laws weren’t as gracious. I should have bought them the t-shirts that read, “You mean my grandchildren are dogs?” They finally accepted our decision and when we visited, my mother-in-law always asked, “How’s the puppy?” Since I haven’t given my parents grandchildren, maybe I can give them an organized version of my memories. From my childhood, the most vivid memories are those in which my father is the main character. I think this speaks to the role a woman plays in her family and how it often goes unnoticed. I was never hungry, never cold, never tired, never unwashed, and never unloved. Since my basic needs were met, I didn’t realize all the work necessary to make me comfortable.

 

For this reason, maybe my first attempt at a memoir should focus on my mother and how she cared for our family. Mom has told me that of her four daughters, I am most like her, which I take as a compliment.

 

However as a beginner, it’s easier to write about animated memories. Dad’s personality lends itself well to re-telling family stories with him as the focal point. He has written stories of his own childhood, some of which have been published; one in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series (A 6th Bowl of Chicken Soup for the Soul, 1999, p.  #238).

 

Mostly, there is a special bond between a little girl and her father that I want to illustrate from my experiences with my father. I am hopeful that you, the reader, will find at least a few stories to which you can relate.

 

Did you ever go to work with your father? Did he build you a playhouse? Has he ever made a car sand sculpture at the beach for you? Did he once let you come with him on a bus in the pouring rain to pick up a new car? My father did all this and more.

Mr. Brown went to Boston

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