Parents VS Kids
December, Virginia, 2017
Snow flurries blew through the air, landing here and there, never stuck anywhere, because it’s too damn warm outside to have a white Christmas. Which was just as well because the Hamill family could do with or without the snow, either way, it gave Greg and Judy something to talk about, if the kids decided not to visit.
There was a call about a handheld snow-blower that Judy ordered online. There wasn’t anything strange about her buying things from television, it was her thing. The product would be most practical in the northern regions of the country, but Judy, thinking she was being practical, bought the device to blow frozen sheets of snow. When she couldn’t return the device, she called one of her two adult children to solve the problem and that’s when the boy, Jared and the girl, Kim met in secret, to discuss the future of their parents.
They concurred that Greg and Judy lost some of their intelligence due to the fast-paced world around them. Like trying to blow frozen snow, Greg and Judy Hamill refuse to evolve and remain stuck, in time. No matter how the children tried to bring them into the future and make them understand that what they believed practical, for the last fifty-some-odd-years, was obsolete today, Greg and Judy ignored them. Trying to make them understand, was like speaking to blocks of ice in the middle of a cold, cold room. No response, no interest, just parents being parents.
The children were dumfounded and wondered how could they make Greg and Judy learn the world of today, without offending them. God forbid, they should make their parents feel, dumb, they would never hear the end of it. They loved their parents and didn’t want to bruise their ego, but in this case, it wasn’t possible. With guts and rebuttals intact, the children promised to visit this Christmas, vowing to bring Greg and Judy into the twenty-first century, by any means necessary.
* * * *
The Hamill family gathered for dinner. Greg and Judy held hands at the end of the table and smiled at their accomplishment and Jared could feel their happiness. Their big, beautiful home, now paid in-full, would fall part at any moment. The cars were paid-in full, but has an expensive, SR-22 insurance because the Hamill’s sometimes forget to put the cars in park or they leave the keys inside, making things easier for criminals.
And the children, may God bless them, then strike them dead for being smart-asses, Jared, for sure. He believed that his parents figured there was only one reason why both their hellions, er, offspring would show up for Christmas and that is to put them away.
Jared absorbed Greg and Judy’s contentious smiles at he, Kim, and their grandchild. The last thing Jared and Kim wanted to do was to take over parent’s their home and lives. They had their own lives to live and controlling Greg and Judy had no benefits, nor would it be fun and enjoyable. Jared considered it a calamitous, gruesome task that he wouldn’t wish on the worst person alive. May God have mercy on him for trying to make their lives better, when he was miserable in his own.
Jared stood with a mug of rum-spiked eggnog. He looked down at his twenty-year-old son, who might have wondered what his father was up to. Jared smiled a little, then sipped a little. The thick, warmth of the drink jolted his taste buds and relaxed his mind from the hard, task ahead. After glancing at his younger, sister, the artist, she blinked her large green eyes at him, urging Jared to get on with it.
“Hello, I’m Jared. You may remember me from such moments as, ‘Mom, can I please throw this out, it expired two years ago,’ or ‘hey dumbass, don’t pee on the neighbor’s fence, that’s the dog’s job, and my all-time favorite, ‘I don’t care if she is your sister, you’re taking her to the goddamn prom.’ Well, times have changed, Mom and Dad. We’re not fifteen anymore and we haven’t been for quite some time. I’m forty-five, with an adult kid of my own, so, don’t think I can’t feel your pain–.”
“Hey,” Jared Jr. looked up at his dad and frowned. “I’m a full-time, college student with a three-point-eight grade average, what the hell are you complaining about?”
Jared didn’t want to look silly in front of the entire family, but it was too, late. Arguing with Junior was like taking punches from Mike Tyson. “Excuse me,” Jared said and turned from his waiting parents to talk semi-privately with his son. “You eat all of the cereal.”
Junior scoffed. “Really? Sue me. When I pass the bar exam, I’m going to kick your ass.”
Jared nodded. “That’s fair,” he said, so no could hear, but everyone leaned in to listen. Embarrassment rushed over him as he turned back to his parents and cleared his throat.
Greg and June were astonished. They looked like a stunned pair of wax figures.
“How, can you let him talk to you like that, Jared?” Greg asked. “He has no damn respect for his elders! What kind of crazy crap is this? That ain’t no way to raise a family. If you’d talk to us that way, my God I would’ve knocked you clear to Georgia and made you pick me some peaches.”
Jared needed saving and his sister saw it.
“That’s the part of the problem, Dad.” Kim said. “You see, Junior’s not being any more disrespectful than Jared is being to him. It’s tit for tit.”
Jared shook his head at his sister. “No, that’s not how it goes.”