In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Childhood Revisited.”
The early 80’s was a busy time for me as my daughter was born in 1977 and a couple of years later in 1979 I had my son. I was a stay at home mom and spent much of my time in domestic bliss… much of it was bliss, I have a strong domestic edge … happy cooking, baking and having social outings with my children. I think many women could attest to the busy- ness of rearing babies and toddlers one of the happier times in life as the joy of sharing laughter with your children is difficult to surpass, and the focus that it takes clears away other pressing issues life may dole out. The work is loving and the rewards so great that it is really nothing to consider. Not to mention the fact that there is simply no time to consider much else. So it was for me when I was in my late 20’s and early 30’s. It was right around this time that I was on the receiving end of phone calls from my only sibling, a sister that was three years my senior.
She had a life quite different from mine and had far more time to ponder the past , the present and the future. This was one of those situations when a her leisurely life style was both a gift and a curse. She was clearly trying to resolve issues in her life and psyche, as several times a week she would phone me and want to discuss our childhood experiences. She would share her vivid memories and I mine. Before the call was over she would utter with amazement ” It is incredible how we turned out with what we went through” Oddly, I never felt that way. My response would always be the same…that I would not change a thing. I was satisfied with who I was… I was a compassionate person and had a sense that it was both the good and the challenging parts of my formative years that shape me… In fact, I would have to admit that the painful experiences I had as a child were most instrumental in giving me my most salient characteristics.. No, I was sure I would not have changed anything…
There is truth in the expression that it is not what life gives us, but how we handle it that makes the difference in who we become… Our childhood without doubt was difficult. There were issues with alcoholism, violence in the home that often comes with; and there were other abuses as well. My father had been on the front line in WW two and I am sure suffered from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) it just didn’t have a name and wasn’t recognized back then. Many times on the way home a policeman would pull him over and hop into the driver’s seat and take us home, there were no laws or awareness in the 50’s about protecting children. But children love their parents and project their best upon them. I knew who my father was, I saw his pain, his anguish, his goodness, his wisdom, I loved his big sense of humour, his singing around he house…. he was bigger than life. I loved him with all his problems and I never doubted I was loved. In fact I felt like the center of his universe. He was very expressive and wore his heart on his sleeve. He was not afraid to cry.
We have free will, and are able to make conscious choices to love, to forgive and to emulate a higher good.
Long ago I heard someone say that if we were to write our troubles down on a piece of paper and toss them into a hat, when picking one out, it is ours we would hope to retrieve.. . This is true for me. It may not have been easy but my challenges are stream lined for me as they are designed to take me to where I need to go on my journey and what I need to learn. What I do know is that only by taking full responsibility for who I am, my actions, my thoughts and my life, gives me the ability to change and enjoy it.
No, I would not change a thing, who I am today, (still learning and making mistakes, bumping into things) is all a part of where I’ve been. I may as well love myself, and be my own best friend.