Discover more from Miss Remembering by Amye Archer
A John Prine Summer
And a writing prompt!
Last summer, my daughters turned 15 and had reached that age where they fully embraced their post-pandemic freedom. It is a lovely time in our marriage, since Timmy and I have only really known one another as parents. This summer feels a little different, but here’s what I was feeling last year.
A John Prine Summer
“Against all odds, honey, we’re the big door prize.”
This summer the girls are gone most nights.
You and I burn a backyard fire,
press our shadows into the stone
you plucked from the mountain behind our house.
We are air signs, you and me,
Aquarius and Libra
Still neither of us care
for wide open spaces.
As a child, you slept facing the fireplace.
Your mom found you most nights covered in sweat.
When your childhood home burned down,
you ran towards the smolder.
I spent summer vacations at Jersey shore.
While my still-married parents
sat on our hotel balcony watching the sunrise,
I swam as hard as I could towards the horizon.
This summer the air around us stands quiet.
We’ve finished something.
I wear a short dress you still like,
And melt into the corners of your grin.
My body is an ocean
coming to you in waves.
This week’s writing
This week I have been thinking about the family I knew growing up and how our perceptions change as we get older. Maybe it’s because my kids are getting older and I’m wondering how their ideas of Timmy and me have shifted.
Recently, I’ve been having many talks with my parents about their parents. It’s been a really interesting time in my life, learning about these women from an adult perspective.
For example, as a child, jennie and I had dubbed my grandmother “President of the Man Haters Club,” because she never dated and never really had anything nice to say about men. We would call her this and she would laugh and take a long suck on her cigarette before smiling, letting the smoke curl out from between her lips.
As an adult, I realize she was a brokenhearted widow, who lost her husband in her early 40’s, and after a short-lived abusive rebound marriage, she chose to live the rest of her life alone, surrounded by us, her fans.
What do you know now about your parents or grandparents that you wished you knew then? What is a perception that has been changed by your growing up and older?
Maybe, like me, your perception of your parents changed completely as you became parent of your own family. Maybe you had an interesting grandparent who lived a life beyond the borders of anything you had experienced.
If you don’t know where to start, try one of these:
It seems silly to me now, but as a child, I once believed that…..
It occurred to me recently that I never really knew the man I grew up calling Grandpa….
Allow yourself to share with the reader where your memories may be foggy. It helps your experience and voice feel authentic. This is, after all, Miss Remembering.
Remember that we the reader do not know this person, so go soft on the “inside baseball” talk. Give us the details we need to make it all make sense.
You’re welcome to share your ideas in the comments or just keep them for yourself. Enjoy the trip down memory lane. Hopefully it’s a soft, sweet one.
Speaking of writing
If you are not watching The Bear’s second season, WHAT ARE YOU DOING? It’s probably some of the best writing I’ve seen in awhile.
What I love about it: There’s a few characters who needed some backstory. We got that this season, and it was lovely. Thank you, Jamie Lee Curtis. We also had a surprising redemption arc, and the inclusion of Natalie in the fold made the staff really feel like a family. The writing is subtle and real.
My sister, Jennie, and I covered season 2 of The Bear on this week’s podcast. Check it out here. Keep in mind, we discuss the entire season, so make sure you watch before listening.
Thanks for reading everyone!
Don’t forget to check out my podcast, Little Miss Recap, where I discuss some of my favorite streaming shows with my good friends.