What was the moment you realized your parents were just people, too, doing their best to get by? Mine came later in life. I never venerated my parents as being perfect or anything, but I did think of them as being full-blown adults. They didn't know everything, but they had all that boring adult world stuff figured out.
Then I got older and I did something really scary. I'm the oldest kid in my family. I was born when my mom was nineteen and my dad was twenty-one. That's what happens when you're out on the farm and only have three channels. My mom turned twenty a few months after that, so figuring out her age is pretty easy mathematically. Even I can do it, yet for some reason, I didn't look back at this equation until much later in life. When I was fourteen and starting high school, my mom was thirty-four. Thirty-four. I thought she was so old. She was basically a child herself.
I say that now as an elderly thirty-seven-year-old statesman and scholar. Okay, both of thos…