I’ll Never Be As Cool As My Parents

jean compton
3 min readFeb 23, 2022
Photo: Jessica Rockowitz/Unsplash

My parents were cool.

I never realized it as much as some of our friends did. I came from a family of six-parents plus three brothers and me. Our friends told us how cool our parents were.

Looking back, I know that they were supportive of all kids. Our house was the one where everyone else hung out — some parents didn’t like other kids hanging out at their house, but everyone was always welcome at ours.

Both of my parents were teachers. My mom taught third grade up until retirement at 70. Her students still came back to see her, called, visited her home. She was a born teacher. And, she loved children.

My dad started out as a teacher, but graduated to other careers.

They were older parents — older for their generation. Mom always thought she’d end up a spinster not marrying until she was 28! Imagine that! Dad was 36 when they married — so, eight years apart.

I’m just glad they found each other.

All of us kids ended up in the Arts. My parents always supported that. They would support anything we wanted to do — as long as it was safe and legal.

Mom’s parents didn’t support her getting her masters degree in Education. Her dad told her, “I just hope you have the good sense not to go any further.” But, she knew what she wanted to do, even if she had to delay marriage.

It worked out for her…and us.

Dad grew up on a farm and, unlike his other brothers, he knew that’s not what he wanted to do. He went to college, taught English, Music, and ended up in our town during WWII, where he met my mom. He eventually worked for a University in the bookstore business.

And, they both were into music. She, a marimba xylophone player, he a singer. Not so unusual that all my brothers veered toward music as well. I was the dancer of the family. That was in the roots as well. Mom had studied with a famous dancing troupe who made they way through our Michigan College town during the Depression when she was barely out of toddler-hood.

Later, when my brothers had their rock bands, my parents house was the one they all gathered in the basement to practice at.

jean compton

I have an eye for the artful and influence. Essays, Memoir and Musings on this and that. Currently working on a memoir about my life as a dancer in 80's NYC