I am thankful for being blessed with the most wonderful parents. In a world with a terrible divorce rate, deadbeat dads, moms who choose men over babies, and television shows that glorify teenage pregnancy and broken homes, I am blessed that I came from a normal home. Now normal does not mean that we were spoiled or had it easy. Normal doesn’t mean my parents never fought. Normal does not mean that I never got in trouble or made mistakes. I take it back, now that I think about it, my kids come from the norm now. A married couple staying married for their whole lives and raising children is not the norm today. It really is sad, but it is true.
In fact, I feel like I’m not “edgy” enough or “broken” enough sometimes. We hear so many glory stories of children overcoming obstacles in their youth. How many rags to riches stories are in Hollywood? How many blended families are on television? It’s hard for me because in May I will officially form a “blended family” with J. Our kids come from a broken home. I will do everything in my power to make sure my kids have a wonderful childhood, but the truth is, already they’ve had a different life than I had. Already they are more “edgy” than mama. Their life story is ready for the silver screen or a book. Why is it that “normal” is so hard for our world to swallow and accept? Why must we alienate families that aren’t broken? Is it unrealistic to give a little limelight to families who do it right?
I wasn’t really going in this direction when I started writing this. I was going to rave about my childhood instead of rant about societal views. My fingers just got up on their soapbox and this is where I ended up. I, in no way, want to demoralize or put down blended or broken families. That would be very hypocritical obviously. I am amazed at the survival and strength of those who have faced adversity. I applaud those who overcome their short end of the stick. The point I am hoping to make is that I wish that we lived in a world that didn’t look for the scandal in everything. I wish that we could accept normalcy or good. Our airwaves are littered with what isn’t right with our neighborhoods and homes. I wish we could see more of what is right.
I want to tell you my story of what was right with my childhood. My parents were young when they got married but have made it through 30 years so far. They raised 3 girls the best way they knew how. We were raised in a small town and went to church most Sundays. We went on family vacations and were read to most nights. School was important in our household, and my parents took an active part in our education and extracurricular activities. We played sports and took dance. We celebrated holidays and gave each other presents for birthdays and Christmas. Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy never missed a beat. There was fussing and yelling and spankings and getting grounded. We had grandparents who loved us. We cleaned our rooms and said the blessing and nighttime prayers. We played outside and knew that we would have supper on the table every night. We weren’t sheltered. We were allowed to watch TV. We weren’t showered with gifts, and I had to get a job when I started driving for my spending money. We pushed their buttons, said we were going to run away, and thought life wasn’t fair. We were punished if we misbehaved and rewarded only if we truly deserved it. Mama taught us how to love 80’s music and Deddy taught us about sports. We didn’t move around a lot and went to the same school (or in the same district) for our entire lives. We knew that our parents were there for us even when we did something stupid. We said “please” and “thank you.” We didn’t smell like cigarettes or see our parents use drugs. We were protected from strangers and were never abused. Cops were the good guys and we never saw our parents carted off to jail. We are blessed with parents that did it right. We can rely on them for everything we need even today. We are loved. And I am so very thankful. I love you Deddy and Mama.
PS… Deddy is how we say Daddy in these parts of NC. It’s just how it’s done.