By Susan Harper
A friend of mine liked to say that he came from a long line of old people. I come from a long line of storytellers and aphorists, among whom I include both of my parents.
You needed a tough hide to live in our house, so we developed one, growing up. For example, my mother used to say that parenting was so challenging that you needed a child you could practice on and throw away. I always figured that would have been me, since I was the oldest — and I expect there were many times when they would’ve loved to be able to throw me away, as I was given to operatic tantrums. My indulgent aunts once spent the better part of a day letting me ride up and down the escalator at Bloomingdale’s. Apparently that was easier for them than persuading me to get off the escalator.