I had a tremendous childhood. Yes, I had moments when I hated my parents…those sobbing in your room mumbling barely audible statements like “I wiiiish shhhee would get hiiiiit by a buuuus and Diiiiiiiie!” Because I was asked to do the unthinkable and clean my room or do my math home work before I could go out with my friends.
But all in all, I had it pretty good.
My parents were divorced when I was 2 and my dad re-married when I was 4. I remember the day Mom told me. We lived in a row-home in the city and I remember standing at the door looking out at the fire escape and just crying. It’s not that I hate my step mom (anymore) I just didn’t understand why my parents couldn’t just stay married. That sucked! But truly…it didn’t suck any more than the memory of Mom throwing out my “blankie” or the day I burned my face on the window of my Nana’s stove. That, my friends is a WAY more painful memory than Dad’s news of his new life….but that’s the point. That is how most kids think.
Kids remember the trauma. They remember the outrageous stuff that caused them to really FEEL something…which is why I loathe the statement “I got hit when I was a kid and I survived”. WHAT?! Are you serious? That’s a statement I would expect to hear after a car accident, not a CHILDHOOD! Why do we expect our children to merely “survive”? Was that truly your goal when you became a parent? To, hopefully, not beat them to death before adulthood? I am not unreasonable…nor am I even close to perfect, however, I honestly believe that when my children grow up, they will not be using that phrase because I do everything in my power to show them how to enjoy and appreciate being a kid. We don’t hit, because that leaves scars. Not the kind you can see, but the kind that last in your mind and your memory forever…the kind that make adults say things like “I deserved it.”