In my last post I talked about the risk of praise, and I am not sure I was correct. I heard from one sibling and a close friend that my parents didn't, to their knowledge, ever praise any of us to our faces. Now I am not sure what is true or false about my latest assessment. But I liked another sister's comment that my parents, my mother in particular, just expected us to grow up, sort of like plants. A little sun and good weather, and we'd be fine. I think that's probably accurate. She was good with plants. And flower arranging.
And the more I think about it, the more I realize I don't think I'd ever have even tried to succeed as a poet if I had not had such kind professors as David Lehman and Lynn Luria Suckenick and Alberta Turner and Sydney Lea. And they were very generous with the praise. I have this one funny memory of Lynn -- who passed away in 1995--she was so sweet, but this one day she saw a photograph of me pregnant and commented, You looked like a had a goldfish in your belly . . . Are you sure that was your son in there?