12. Describe the atmosphere/mood of your home when you grew up.
3. Describe your family features and characteristics which make them unique.
4. Describe the general strengths and weaknesses in your family.
22. Descrivbe how you see the world and what kind of people you tend to attract
14. What are you looking for in a mate? how could you give this to yourself?
I remember the day I was born like it was yesterday. It was a cold Tuesday morning when my mother calmly told my father their tiny miracle was ready to be born. They both quietly gathered their bags and drove the speed limit the entire way to the hospital. They entered together after finding the perfect parking spot. My mother insisted on staying in the car and resisted my father’s attempt to drop her at the door. Then, ten hours later, I was born. The perfect child born to the most perfect people in the world.
Not really. Honestly, I really do not remember most of my childhood, although there are a few scenes that enter my mind from time to time. My mother would tell you I was the perfect child indeed. She would say that I didn’t even cry for the first three months of my life. Not one tear. She would give the fairytale story I documented above if asked about my birth.
She is one of those “June Cleaver” mothers. You know, the ones that don’t work outside the home, even when the children start school. The ones that have a glass of milk and a banana (no cookies before dinner) at the table when the bus dropped you off after school. She was the hub of the family. She even wore one of those little white aprons with red ladybugs on the front. Although it was well past the fifties and sixties, she sure acted like a mother of those times. She really set the tone for our house and our family in general. She did then, and still does now. Some things don’t change because we don’t want them to.
With Mom setting the atmosphere of our house, things ran pretty smoothly. It amazes me now to think of everything she organized for us, and how she did it with grace and compassion. It must have been difficult to pick up the same dirty sock that missed the hamper at least a million times without saying a word. But, with her compassion and calmness, she made our home a refuge for the scary world it was built within.
Our home was peaceful. It always smelled wonderful, like fresh cut flowers, or fresh laundry. It was a place where everyone was welcome. As I grew, many of my friends found my home to be an inviting place. It was always spotless and decorated with cheer. I have no idea how she managed to keep it that way, but she did. The best word to describe the way I felt about home is “safe”.
Now, my father was a hard worker. He must have worked a hundred hours a week, but he still always found time to play ball with me. He was more difficult then my mother however, and had an opinion on everything. I suppose my mother did as well, but the difference was that my father shared his opinion on everything. He was a smart man who had a real knack for carpentry. His father was a master carpenter and he had learned some tricks of the trade. He could build the most beautiful pieces. One year for Christmas he made me the most beautiful toy chest I have ever seen. I still have the chest, although now I use it to store clothing.
One of the things I enjoyed as a child was fishing with my family. We never did own a boat, but we still enjoyed the sport from the land. My mother, father, and I would head out to the pond on a friend’s farm in the spring and fall. Anyone who knows anything about fishing would tell you that it is too hot to fish in the summer. Besides, the fish don’t bite when it’s steaming hot.
Our fishing trips were the only time I really got to see my mother out of her element. It was hilarious to me that she could bait her hook and take off even the meanest catfish. My father and I would laugh continuously at her serious expressions while she fished. My father and I also loved to have contests to see who caught the first fish. After the first fish was caught, we would bet to see who the first person to catch five fish would be. It was always an exciting event to go fishing.
Although we had exciting and wonderful times fishing and playing ball however, my father and I didn’t see eye to eye in all areas of life. Like I said, he had an opinion on everything, and most of the time I didn’t agree with it. To me, my dad’s biggest weakness was his stubborn nature. He could go for an entire day without speaking to me after a disagreement. It was so frustrating as a teenager to try to get through that stubbornness to penetrate the man underneath. I too have inherited his stubborn ways, however I am careful not to take them to his extreme.
One of the greatest things about my family however is that no matter what pain we cause each other, and how we may break each other’s hearts, our bond is unbreakable. Although my father may have gone a day without speaking to me, we always made up the next morning over breakfast. It always ended with both of us apologizing profusely and admitting guilt. It was wonderful knowing that no matter how bad an argument got, it would end soon. It made it easy to voice my opinion as well.
After high school, I left home immediately. It really surprised my mother that her baby son wanted to go, however I knew I needed to get out. If I had stayed at home, I might still be there today. I needed to make my break. A clean break. And what better excuse did I have then because I had graduated and needed to become a man. Of course, I went back and few months later and about twenty pounds lighter. I never realized I would have to fend for myself when it came to eating.
A year later, I left again. I think this is a trend many young people go through. It’s like you can never move out too many times. With my parents being so sweet, they just kept letting me move in and out. There is no way they could deprive me of a roof over my head. The funny thing is that with each time I moved back in, I became less and less like the person who left. It was like the world was molding me.
The first time I left home I was so fresh. I was fearless and expected the entire world to be as nice as my mother and father. Boy was I wrong. The first time I forgot to pay my rent, the landlord pad locked my door. It was incredible. I had decided against going for the apartment complex scene and rented an individual apartment from an older man. I tried to explain to him that the bank was closed and the ATM would not let me take out more than two hundred dollars a day, so I could not get him his four hundred dollars right away. I tried to tell him the money was there in my account, and I would deliver it first thing in the morning when the bank opened. He however, had no problem denying me a roof over my head and left me to sleep in the hall of the million-year-old house the apartment was located in. It was the last time I have ever paid rent late.
I guess after moving out I began to see the world in a more realistic light. It was as if my parents sheltered me from the truth and the harshness, and I appreciate what they did. However, my perception of the world now is completely opposite from what it was then. However, I do still tend to attract the sheltered type of people. You know, the innocent ones that have moved out for the first time recently. It’s like they are drawn to me. Like I am their teacher who will inform them of the means of survival. They always look hungry, and I know why. They too did not think about how they would cook for themselves and such.
Honestly, I do feel good being that caretaker person to these people. I find the innocence appealing and attractive because I understand it. I think eventually I want to be a man who can take care of his family and possibly provide his kids with the sheltered, but beautiful childhood they deserve. And I will have no problem doing this, because when they begin to see the world through their own eyes, I will always be there to fill in the blanks.
1. What did you learn from doing this. What will you do with what you learned.
I learned a lot about myself from doing this exercise. I got to examine my family and
myself from the outside looking in. It taught me about why I felt the way I did and
allowed me to understand why my parents sheltered me so much. I have
a greater appreciation for my family after this, and that is what I will take from this.
2. How will this new learning impact your relationships
I will be more patient with those innocent people who seem to cling to me. I will
Realize that I once was in their shoes and guide them.
3. What do you hope for the future of your life story.
I hope to have a family somewhat like my own someday. I want my children to grow
up in a “safe” home. I want to work hard and still find time to fish with my children
and my wife.