Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Coal Miner’s Daughter

I’m not sure how old I was when Coal Miner’s Daughter (starring Sissy Spacek) came out. All I remember for sure is that I definitely was a coal miner’s daughter. Not in the Loretta Lynn way, of course, but in the my-dad-works-at-the-mines way.

We weren’t close, my dad and I. In some ways, we still aren’t, but we’re closer than we’ve ever been before, so that’s saying something. So, when he asked me if I wanted to go to see this movie with him, I jumped at the chance. Just me? Not the golden child? Not the little guy? Not the two oldest? Just me? Hell yes!

I don’t even remember much about the actual date itself. I know that I liked the movie, and I know that he LOVED it. I remember listening to records of Loretta Lynn and Ernest Tubbs as I was growing up, so I knew some of the songs. I think that dad knew them all. I hadn’t a clue about Pasty Cline before the movie, but I did afterwards because dad really liked her, too. If he liked her, then I wanted to know about her. (How can you not love her voice?)

This movie was released before he went to rehab, but even so, I didn’t associate Loretta’s struggles with pain pills with anything that my dad was going or had gone through. I didn’t correlate his cheating behavior with Doo’s actions. I didn’t see my mom in Loretta, waiting around, penniless, with lots of kids to care for and no reliable husband to help. I didn’t see any of this because I was just so damn happy to have a special night alone with my dad. I don’t even know if we ordered popcorn!

Its memories like this that make me realize how important it is to spend quality time with the boys. I’m not perfect at this, in fact, I have a long way to go, but I’m trying. I want them to feel that special every day, not just once in a while when I finally think about doing something nice for them.

(And, this is in no way meant to disparage my dad. He wasn’t perfect, and I’m still learning about why he is who he is even after 42 years. That makes me think that maybe I should blog some about my parents’ childhoods – what I know and find out what I don’t know – so that someday when my own boys are reading this, they will understand why I am who I am…)

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