Growing up, we all may not have had the most rose-colored childhood. There are probably things that we wish we had; whether it be more attention, more love, more cuddles, more money to do the things we wanted, or even nicer clothing and toys. We may have felt clueless and needed more direction but never received it.
Maybe some of us were traumatized and actually suffer PTSD as a result of some of our less than charming childhoods? You can see how this post can go 100 different ways by now and I wont go there except for to say that if your parents tried the best they could, and did the best they could, sometimes that’s all you can really ask for.
I come from a large family. I have 6 sisters and 5 brothers. I have two nieces that came to live with us for a while as well so my parent raised a family of 16 at one point. I always remember knowing I was loved and cared for. It’s just that as I grew (think Kindergarten age) I remember feeling “behind” in everything and feeling rather stupid. While my younger sister excelled in school earning straight A’s, I struggled with D’s and F’s. Nobody helped me and my grades were overlooked as I recall. This lead me down a path of just feeling “not worth the energy” because I always got away with it.
Who knows. Instead of all the things I didn’t get, I’d prefer to think of all the things I did get. Like two amazing parents that worked their tails off to make ends meet and make sure everyone was fed and clothed. My mother use to rock me in the rocking chair and sing songs to me. She use to hug and kiss me all the time. I never felt like a bother. She never spanked me or hit me for no good reason and she rarely yelled. There was something inside of me that just “knew” that they were extremely busy trying to round-up this large family and I just had to fall in line and behave. That’s primarily what I had done.
As I got older, out of high school- that’s when I started to resent it a bit because I was a little clueless. I didn’t know who I was or where I stood on anything. I just kinda floated by my whole life. The first time I applied myself in school was my Jr. & Sr. year earning my way onto the honor roll for the first time. It made me realize that, “Hey, I am smart!” and it was a wonderful accomplished feeling. After high school college was never even mentioned to me. Not once that I can recall. I was just to get a job right out of high school. I think their life plan for me was for me to make a great wife and homemaker someday. Which is exactly what I did and happily so. I just wish someone had even broached the subject with me and showed me the way. Other siblings went to college on their own accord with no worries. They just picked up and put themselves through schooling. Me, I was terrified. I definitely needed someone there to hold my hand and show me the ropes. I watch sadly as all my good friends shipped out to the college of their choice – with fully furnished dorm rooms to boot.
As I got even older, and had been raising my children for some time, the life lessons just kept pouring in on me. I learned from them and became stronger but there was a sense of [WHY DIDN’T SOMEONE TELL ME THIS STUFF] weighing heavily on my mind. Why did I have to learn everything the hard way. Maybe so I could teach my children these things in detail so they could avoid the same pit falls? I think so. Because that’s exactly what I did. I was brutally honest with my kids and kept them in the loop. I never wanted them to feel like a fish out of water.
Then I realized I had a knack for drawing and building computer graphics – building webpages came easily to me. Again, I was a little upset because I didn’t know I was talented. I felt worthless for many years. Just like I was nothing special and that I didn’t matter. But, I did have something to contribute and I was smart! WHO would have thunk it? LOL.
Now I’m 46 and I feel wise beyond my years in matters of the heart. I still have a lot to learn but I get where wisdom does come with age. Just by learning from your own mistakes and being handed those rough life lessons along the way. I’ve learned to trust a bit more, I’ve learned to love others and let go a little more. I’ve learned to be happy and content and feel “settled”. Although I may be a late bloomer so to speak, I chose to embrace the here and now instead of dwelling on what could have been.
I am here now. I’m thankful for the thousands of things that went right in my childhood! I’m grateful for my parents who worked so hard to care for me. I’m glad my mom was there to wipe off my boo-boo’s and hug me close. I am so grateful for all the thousands of things that go right every single day in my life right now.
I think sometimes we are so consumed on thinking about what went wrong that we forget to acknowledge what has gone right. The fact that my dishwasher started and cleaned and sanitized all my dishes for me – working seamlessly is just a blessing. My bed is made with soft covers on it. We have food to eat and both my husband and I are hardworking. We have 4 beautiful children and a lovely granddaughter that lives nearby. I have two sweet Dachshunds that I love with all my heart and they make me happy. I can enjoy the great outdoors anytime I like; day or night. I click a light switch in my home and suddenly the lights go on and then off with a another simple click. We have laundry machines, we have power tools, we have special cleaners to help us all do our jobs around the house. We are all so blessed.
I think my life went exactly as it was supposed to. I’m glad I can take the time to stop and smell the roses – to look around at all the beauty I am surrounded by on a daily basis. So much MORE goes right than ever goes wrong.