Wednesday, March 30, 2005


It's funny how our relationships with our parents change over time.

In the beginning we're totally dependant on them for everything, then as the years pass we become more and more independent... until our mid-teens when we suddenly know absolutely *everything* and don't believe we could possibly learn anything from anyone (except of course our friends). Especially our parents who couldn't possibly know anything about what *we're* going through... Until our mid-20's or so when we one day wonder how our parents got so smart!

From that point on, if we're lucky, that relationship begins to shift... until one day you find yourself answering a question, or a request for some advice/input... from one of your parents!!

Then one day you find yourself (or at least I did) wondering how it all changed.

I was really blessed with some great parents. We never had much money, in fact as I look back on things now, we were pretty much broke most of the time. Somehow, they never let us 'feel' poor though... there was always a meal on the table, a roof over our heads, clothes to wear and love... a lot of love. We learned to appreciate each other and the things we did have. To this day, I get almost as much enjoyment from ‘thinking’ about buying something as I do from eventually getting it!

Now I didn't always *think* it was love... in fact I was sure they were trying to ruin my life... keep me from my dreams... or were conspiring to eliminate anything I thought was 'fun' from my life...

As the years passed though, and I've had the chance to talk one on one with my siblings (there are seven of us in all) the parents actually found a 'groove' with each of us, some, like me were a bit more... ummmm... adventurous and needed a tighter leash, and others didn't.

My Mom has often said she's sorry for how strict she and my Dad were with me. I'll tell you what I tell her, I'm very glad they were strict. I credit my ability to do the things I've been able to do to the way we were raised. Somehow, despite the “No" and "Because I said NO!" answers... they also instilled in me some beliefs and values.

I value hard work, persistence, dreams, love, happiness and following my heart.

I believe in God, myself, and my ability to accomplish whatever I set out to do.

I can clearly remember my Dad (and Mom) telling me it didn't matter what I chose to do in life (and that's good because I've certainly picked a number of different things over the years) as long as it made me happy to do it, and I was good at what I chose.

I've never felt constrained by the path I'm on, to simply keep doing what I'm doing because it's what I know... I've been able to take another path when it's appeared... and that, as they say, has made all the difference.

Last, and certainly not least... there were rules (I know, imagine that... rules!) and well defined consequences for breaking the rules... and, probably most importantly the consequences were imposed whenever the rules were broken, not selectively. That process alone probably kept me out of more trouble than anything else! Now, all of us 'pushed the envelope' and suffered the consequences. Some of the kids, like me, pushed more than the others, but we all tested the limits. The results were swift, and certain.

I can still hear them saying "We told you what would happen if you..." Were all the rules 'fair'? No, and they shouldn't be... *Life* isn't fair, you don't learn to cope with life if everything you experience while growing up is 'fair'. What were their rules if not fair? In a word... consistent, and equally applied.

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