I was born and raised in a home that thought respect was a good thing, that children showed respect to their elders, at all times, regardless of what the child thought of them.
I was raised in a home where manners was a requirement to eat at the dinner table, for everyone, guest included.
I was raised in a home were we, the children, understood that the adults had more privileges than us, that they, the adults, earned it, and we had not.
I was raised in a home were No meant No, where crying, pouting and other such behavior only made things worse.
I was raised in a home were good grades were expected, not rewarded and bad grades were punished not excused.
I was raised in a home with one TV that my mom and dad controlled, and we, the kids were privileged to use it, and that privilege could be taken away at anytime.
I was raised in a home were the car was something you asked permission to borrow, unless you bought your own, and even than the privilege to drive that car, or any other car could be striped away.
I was raised in a home were the parents were the parents, not the best friends, were the law of the land was at the discretion on said parents, not up for discussion. The parents ran the household, not the children, the parents enforced the rules, not the child and the parent had first, second and last say in all matters concerning my upbringing until I moved out of the house.
I was raised in a loving home with two parents who fought and argued and sometimes made mistakes. They sometimes punished when it was not fair they sometimes refused to understand my side and they sometimes just had not time for my little boy concerns, they had adult concerns. They had the bills to pay and the other 4 siblings to look after. They had the car repairs to look after and the groceries to buy. Sometimes my major life event was just to hard for them to see or understand.
I was raised in a home were sometimes my parents forgave me to quickly or overlooked my faults, were sometimes they put aside their concerns for the bills and food, just to spend time with me on the floor playing or going for a walk in the snow. Sometimes they saw no one but me.
I was raised in a home with understanding and misunderstanding under the same roof, were pride and disappointment could be seen side-by-side and were love was found in the smile of my frustrated parents.
I was raised in a home were the problems of the house hold, the adult problems, were not shared, the burden was not unloaded upon my shoulders, were the concerns of finding the money was never mine. Were the house payment or loss of a job was dealt with in the wee hours of the night, with the children sleeping soundly.
I was raised in a home were childhood was nurtured and allowed to grow, were Santa existed and the back yard was window into the world of imagination.
My parents were not perfect, I was not perfect nor were my brothers and sisters, we were, simply put, a family learning how to live and grow with each other. I grew up knowing that I will not get everything I ask for, everything I want, but I will always have everything I need. The latest pair sneakers were a want, not a need, and I learned this lesson early in life. Were the lessons always painless, no, sometimes my little mind could not grasp the value at hand, what did I know of house payments or layoffs, this was not my concern as a child, it was the concern of my parents and there friends. Hard or easy, the lesson was there, and I am sure, more often than not, it was harder for my parents than for me.
This blog was to be about the problem with youth today, all the violence and just plain bad attitude, it was to offer a solution to the problem, to help find creative ways to deal with youth gone wild. The first few I was raised lines were to be lead-ins to the issues facing parents and communities, but like all good blogs, this one has a mind of its own, and turned into a tribute to my childhood, my parents and how I was raised.
Life was not perfect, my dad was laid off a few times from the automotive industry, we struggled to survive and we had our good and bad moments. I remember eating raw potato’s as a snack, I though nothing of it as a kid. I love them, little did I know it was because my parents could not afford the chips and other junk food my friends had. To me, a raw potato with salt was as good, if not better than a bag of chips. I still love them today. My parents didn’t bother us kids with such things, if we did ask such question pertaining to bills or other money concerns we were told, more often than not, that it was none of our concerns. We did not know nor understand the struggles and sacrifices our parents made, I, for I cannot speak for my siblings, never knew we had money concerns I just knew that the shoes I really wanted were too much, so I had to get the off brand ones, and I never had an issue with that, to me they were all the same.
A parents job is to provide and protect, to provide food, shelter and love and to protect us from harm as best they can. There job is not to give us our every want, to shower us with gifts or money, their job is not to treat us like little adults and burden us with adult sized issues. Our shoulders are not broad enough to hold such a load.
I was raised in a home of imperfections and blemishes, were wrong was sometimes right and yes was sometimes no.
I was raised in a home… A home that I am proud to call my own, a home that my parents built, not out of brick and stone, but out of love and concern. Our walls may not have been perfect, the floors may have creaked and yes, sometimes the wind may have blown through the cracks and crevasses. This home was in Detroit and The Irish Hills, it was in Clinton and Ann Arbor, it was in Canton and Westland and now it is with in me. My parents where not perfect and our home was lived in many houses, but it was always home.