Day 9: I am thankful for my childhood.
We all have things about our lives we maybe wish had not happened or we could forget. I think those things shaped us into the people we are today, and so I do not necessarily wish them away. I don’t like or condone them, I just understand I would be a different person without them. And because I love the majority of my life, I wouldn’t change them. An ex boyfriend of mine used to say
like it was a hashtag on life (this was in late ’90’s, hashtags were not a thing yet). I recognized the sentiment as one I felt for myself and my own life.
When you don’t focus on the negative things, I had a wonderful childhood. I have always believed this, and have tried to give my own daughter the same. I had parents and siblings who loved me and whom I loved. I experienced living in different environments and meeting all kinds of people. I had a lot of nice things. I got to read a lot (my choice), play outside with my siblings, and learn the value of hard work and homemaking. I think these lessons are why I feel like I want to be a homemaker (we all know that won’t happen–you need a spouse for this). We had a car for each parent and a boat for summer fun, we remained close to our extended family, and I had opportunities to see MY extended family, which I always looked forward to the rest of the year. You see, I had FOUR parents growing up (now I have a fifth), and five siblings split between the two sets of parents. I also had an extra half dozen sets of aunts, uncles, and cousins, some of whom I knew better than others.
I had my own room as a teenager, we always had a place to live and enough to eat (I knew several who did not, and it broke my heart not to be able to help them). We spent some time doing “touristy” things when we visited family. I had friends I loved (and was lived by), even though I don’t easily make friends.
We went to the beach often. We lived in nice homes. We laughed a lot. We spent time together as a family, and enjoyed it. Dinner was eaten together, and we were sometimes allowed to watch TV during the meal. We spent the evenings doing homework, then coming together for family time. We had routines and expectation — both for us and for the other members of our family. We knew our boundaries and we understood them. And we loved each other — even when we didn’t like each other.
So yes, I am thankful for my childhood. And every year I run into someone who doesn’t understand it, so I explain it to them. My family did the best they knew how with the tools and lives they were given. It is up to me to do better for my OWN family, even if my choices confuse others. And it is also up to me to teach my child to do better for her own family.
This is the only way we improve the world — doing better than those who came before us.