Photographs and Memories
Thank you, Naturalhigh, for another great post, “Life As It Ought To Be” ! You really got me to dig deeper inside myself to where I really don’t want to go… not that I’ve not been there before. Even though I’d rather forget, it’s always better to know where you’ve come from.
Becoming a parent has brought a lot of things to the forefront of my brain for consideration. Lot’s of childhood memories came, unbidden, flooding back. I made the decision a long time ago that if I was to become a parent, I did not want to be like my parents. Does this sound too harsh? Maybe, but I should say that even though I had a mostly miserable childhood, some of it was not my parents’ fault; and there are some happy memories of us having fun as a family. While I do realize they did the best that they could, and they always had my best interest at heart, having that knowledge did not stop the pain. It took time.
I remember my mother rummaging through a bag of hand-me-downs, searching for clothes that might fit me. That young child of 5 years old, or so, did not notice anything other than the annoyance of her mother’s voice as she voiced, “You’re too big for this”, “you won’t fit into this”, or “this won’t fit you.” That child wanted to shrink into the smallest ball possible; she heard an underlying message of “you’re fat”–abnormal. She did not know that she was a young child still growing and, indeed, growing out of her clothes—a normal thing. I can truly understand how random remarks can really damage a young mind. I remember that all my life I had the self image of being “fat”. Then on day, as an adult, I came across a picture that I remember taking around that same age. It was of two young, very normal sized girls, my sister and I, sitting on the back steps with gigantic pine cones on our laps. I remember taking that picture, and what I remember is dreading to pose for that picture and trying to hide BEHIND the pine cone. Now where on earth could I have gotten that idea? FYI, later I did, in fact, acquire a life long supply of fatty deposits…. and demons.
Without getting into all the details, the above is the gist of what I want to avoid with my kid. I also have become a big fan of CLEAR communication. I mean, if I don’t get it, or if I think that YOU don’t get it, I will go back and ask you if you understand, or ask questions myself. I will not let it go… though sometimes I think the Drake has it; but somewhere along the line, he still loses it. HA! Could not resist that one! Seriously, I can remember my mom having a hard time talking to us, as evidence the birds and the bees talk. When I got my period, at 9 years old and my sister 8 yrs., she took the both of us aside and very awkwardly gave us some of the details of reproduction. Oh yes, my mother was seemingly a very stoic, unapproachable person. Sad because, in reality she was a very emotional and deeply affected human being.
I acknowledge that this might sound very unfair and really not so bad. I can only say is that there is a lot more factors to add to this brew to make me one totally messed up kid. God was on my side, however; he kept me out of serious trouble. He held me and protected me until I could really take care of myself. For that I am eternally grateful. No matter how much pain I endured growing up, I am now grateful for it, for my life as it unfolded. I can hold my head up high and say, unequivocally, that I know pain. I also know that pain makes you strong.
I’ve always said that I learned my lessons in reverse. I learned everything that I “don’t” want, as opposed to seeing something that I like, and then go for it. I learned that with my parents and I learned that with my first husband. My Drake is the only person in my life who showed me what I actually like…. so I went for it!
Getting a bit daffy now, need to get some sleep…. But first, off to check the stats!