A post on my wall on facebook made me realize that all too often, people misunderstand other people. They don't understand why someone feels the way they do or why they believe the way they do. A lot of hurt feelings happen over misunderstandings and I've felt like my life has been an open book. I've posted the good, bad, and the ugly that has happened to me but after reading back over it, it's been in bits and pieces. So with that in mind, I've decided to start from the beginning. Please keep in mind that anything I say in this blog are my true feelings....How I perceived my life and anything that took place in it and is not meant to hurt any of my family or friends feelings. I'm just keeping it real.
I really had an ordinary life. Life was care free, happy,amazing. My earliest memories start back at 2 or 3. Though I don't remember much that early, there are some things I do remember. I came from what we always referred to as a "Yours, mine, and ours" family. Meaning, my dad had been married before and had a son and a daughter. My mom had been married before and had a daughter and a son. Their first marriages broke up. They lived on the same street. An East side neighborhood. After much pursuing by my father, my mother started dating him. They get married and merge two families. It wasn't much longer and I joined the crew. My earlier years were very happy and carefree. Exciting and fun. I was only a toddler so of course, to me, life was grand. I had a back yard to play in, cousins to play with, neighborhood kids to play with.
But the more I think about it, other than pictures and holidays and Sundays. I don't have too many memories of my daddy at that young of age (2-3). I have plenty of my mom, my brothers, one of my sisters, my Aunt and my cousins (some of them lived with us and or spent many nights with us during this time). My dad was a very hard working man. We were a low income family. My mom had in home daycare so she could be home for us prior to going to school and then we we left for school and returned home. The way my parents raised us, I never realized just how "low income" we were. We had hand me down clothes, there was a period we were on food stamps. We didn't eat out and we never had big lavish things or new cars. I don't recall too many of our cars even having air conditioning. Now that I'm grown, I hear stories from my mom...how there were times they didn't know where our next meal would come from.
My dad was a high school drop out. He had a rough life himself. His dad died when he was 7 and my Grandma did the best he could raising him and his 3 siblings. When I was young my dad had 3 jobs. He worked at a machine shop, he had a pest control business and I don't recall what the other job was. 2 of his jobs were full time. (I think the machine shop and the pest control). I recall trying to stay up until midnight or later so I could kiss my daddy and tell him goodnight. Most nights I succeeded.
My dad was 12 years older than my mom so when I was born, my siblings were somewhere in the range of 16 or 17 (my oldest brother), 14 or 15 (My oldest sister), 8 (my other big sister), and 6 (my other big brother). So at times, there were 7 people in a 3 bedroom 1 bath home. As a little kid, it didn't feel crowded at all but why would it? I was born into that. :) And it was never just the 7 of us. At any given time I had an Aunt or an Uncle or cousins living with us as well. My mom was one of 8 kids so some of her siblings were around the age of my older siblings. When they would reach the age that they would leave home, our place seemed to be the popular resting spot. :) It was a home full of love....that is for sure.
It's amazing how a family can have so little (monetarily) and yet the children feel rich. Of course that is all in how we perceive things when we are young. Everything is fresh and exciting and new and innocent until someone tells you different or crushes your imagination or dreams. We very rarely ate out. We couldn't afford it. We didn't have cable TV. We had the basic 3 or 4 (channels 2,6,8, and 11)channels with bunny ear antenna's that we watched on a TV my parents had saved their pocket change for YEARS to buy. I remember the rolling of the coins. It was a family affair. If I remember correctly, once they were all counted out and rolled, they were taken to K-mart to make the "big purchase". It was SOO exciting. It was exciting to maneuver the antenna's just right so we could get reception. Sometimes it would require tin foil on the antenna's. lol
I grew up in a Christian home. My parents had us in Church every time the doors were opened. Prayer meeting, revival, social, Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night. Some Wednesday nights were just mom and us kids because dad would be working. He didn't work on Sundays though. That was family day. I made so many good friends in Church. Even as a toddler I was in the nursery helping our nursery worker with the even younger babies. Because my siblings were all older, I was in many ways, wise beyond my years and matured quite quickly for my age. My dad was a great example of always doing for others. He would give the shirt off his back if someone needed it. He would give up his portion of food for someone that had none. His hurt were for the hurting, the homeless, and the down trodden. He was a hard worker. It didn't take long for me to realize that this man was my hero.
I very rarely got into trouble growing up. Though I was/am a strong willed person, I also have the desire not to let those I love down. I made good grades. Not because I just LOVED school but because I wanted my parents...specifically my daddy to be proud of me. Any sport I chose to play, I succeeded at. Not just because I loved the sport (which I did) but I also wanted to show my daddy that I would work hard and be the best I could I be and always give 150%. My parents firmly believed in spankings and I know there are many today that do not but before anyone gets outraged, I promise you, I was never abused. I never felt abused. I was never frightened by spankings. I was more upset that I had let someone down than I was over a spanking. I have mixed emotions on this topic. I know each and every spanking I received (which I can count on 1 hand), I deserved. I deserved more than I got most likely but I could always feel the love and hurt that it caused my dad when he would spank us. If what we did was something that angered him, he would send us to our room, he would go to his room or his "study room" and pray and cool down first and then come to us and talk with us and discuss why what we did was wrong and make sure we understood why. The Bible does say, "Spare the rod, you spoil the child." I think there is a time and place and a way to handle everything and I NEVER felt my father did so inappropriately. There were never marks left and you could see the pain in his face once it was done. I'm not saying all this to start a debate over whether spanking is appropriate or not, I'm just telling my life story and in my life story, I was fine with it. I preferred it to be grounded or writing sentences. It was done and over with in a split second while still getting the point across where being grounded and writing sentences were pure torture to me. And I also realize every child is different. Spankings are effective for all children just as time out and re-direction aren't effective for all children. There is no handbook when you have kids and you have to pray and do what you feel is best for you and your family without judging (unless someone is truly being abused) what is best for another family.
Getting back on track, as I grew, sports became a love and passion of mine. I played soccer from the time I was 4 until I was in the 6th grade. Then I played basketball from 8th grade and on into college. I lived, breathed, ate, drank, slept, and dreamed soccer and basketball. It probably kept me out of a LOT of trouble when I was in my teenage years. haha (to be continued....)