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Why I love my Aunt Maryann

December 31, 2006

She bought be completely inappropriate books—beautiful volumes of poetry and lovely fairytale books–when I was 5. At the time I did not realize she probably intended them to be read to me but I assumed that she knew that I could read them and that was just magical to me.

Mary lived this crazy eclectic life (atleast to me as a 5 year old girl) and when I went to visit her in her Fells Point apartment I had to step over her bed on the floor and her flute, and her boyfriend asleep on the bed on the floor and lovely scarves, wool hats, vintage shoes and fringe shawls. She was tall and so incredibly beautiful.

When she became pregnant with my cousin Kolby she seemed so grown up, independent, assured, confident, pretty and grounded. She seemed impossibly grown up and she was only about 24 and I was 11.

She was always kooky–at least in her family’s eyes—her vegetarianism, her hippie-ish lifestyle but no matter what she seemed to pull it together and make whatever was happening to her work and work well. She unashamedly nursed my cousin Eva while sitting at my Uncle Chucks dinner table and we all laughed, but she laughed hardest, when Eva popped off and milk went squirting across the room. I think she said something like, “Theres mud in your eye!”.

Parenting to Maryann was a serious business and she set out to perfect like you would learn a craft. Experimenting, taking into account the current circumstances and had a willingness to change courses if that was what worked best for everyone involved. She was a flexible mother and was always looking for ways to balance a career, family and a life so that nothing was neglected.

Maryann has a great laugh–deep and big. Her green eyes are constantly in a state of mischievous wonder and it is her desire to be better–make the world that she has impact on a better place that inspires me.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. January 5, 2007 7:00 pm

    >She bought be completely inappropriate books—

    >when I was 5.

    >At the time I did not realize she probably intended
    >them to be read to me but I assumed that she knew >that I could read them.

    My youngest sister decided at about the age of three that what separated the “Bigs” (the three oldest of us) from the “littles” (the three youngest of us) was that the Bigs could read and the littles could not.

    We gave her some books and her favorite was one about a kitten that was caught in a tree and rescued. She had us read it over and over until she had memorized every word then she sat in her room and went through the words until she figured out how it all worked.

    She taught herself to read and devoured every book she could find to prove to us older kids that she was a grownup.

    When she started kindergarten she had been reading well for over a year. They did not believe that she was reading and ran all kinds of tests to try to figure out how she was doing that “parlor trick.”

    It turns out that her oldest daughter had a similar notion. She decided at three years old that she wanted her own library card. The kindly old lady librarian laughed and told her that she had to be able to write her name before she could get her own card. When she got home, she sat down and told her parents that she wanted to learn to write her name and she did, and got her own library card.

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