Tuesday, July 7, 2009

From Childhood to Childhood...

Daily Specs:

Attainable Goal: Figure out what kind of yarn my scarf is made of. And GO TO THE Y!!
Grievance: None yet!
Celebration: Lots of sleep last night for me.

I often reminisce about my childhood. It was a pretty amazing one, as far as childhoods go, I guess. If I were to have a shrink he would probably find something wrong with it, but since I am an pinnacle of psychological perfection, I live with the firm belief that my life has been pretty awesome. I lived with parents who loved each other, loved their children, and loved God. Whenever they worked, I got to spend time with my beloved Great Grandparents, and those years with them have been priceless beyond words. I was geographically close to almost every extended family member, which meant that we were all pretty close.

Cheetah and I almost constantly find things in our adult lives that remind us of our lives as children, which we immediately text/facebook to each other. Example: One night a couple weeks ago I made lamb chops for dinner. That, in turn, reminded me of a little movie we used to watch, "Lambchops Play-A-Long", with a really annoying theme song. So, if the annoying theme song was going to be stuck in my head for the rest of the evening, it stands to reason that Cheetah had to join me in my misery. The two of us have a set of movies, our version of "classics", that we watch together whenever we are feeing sentimental and nostalgic, which is more often than not. Titles in this movie list include Goofy Movie, Muppet Treasure Island, White Squall, and other MORE embarrassing (believe it or not) movies that I shall not list.

We were not like other children we knew, and even in hindsight I think our family was a rarity. Our young years resembled those of Pleasantville, with the little suburban house, tiny conservative church, and role-model "citizen-of-the-year" type parents. We never had much money, but we always had each other, and that was the most important thing of all. Our parents never fought, we spent all of grade school in a private school, and we took our one vacation per year in the same spot in Sunriver. I remember other children talking about their parents, and how they were divorced, or never at home, or generally sporting a cold demeanour. I recall wondering what it was like to have a dysfunctional family, and sometimes even fantasizing about having a home that struggled with big issues. Not to say that I did not struggle. We were quite poor for a while, and it was apparent how much toll this took on my Mom and Dad, but they never stopped loving and making the best of it.

As an adult, there are so few people that I come into contact with that had a great childhood like mine. There are even some that think that my 50's life seems, as they say, "functionally dysfuntional", referring to the idea that my black and white existence somehow lacked any sort of colour. I cannot say that they are entirely in the wrong. I was always very sheltered, and very excited to live life outside my tiny town. I have never done any sort of illegal drug, never had terrible experiences drinking alcohol, and have never broken the law (unless you count speed limit laws). When I hear my friends or husband tell me of their life experiments, and all the things they got to experience and learn from, I feel like maybe I have been a little bit "functionally dysfunctional". My life has lacked the color that theirs has had. Or, perhaps, we just color our worlds differently...

This brings me to today, and the raising of my children. When one gets married, there is always the difficult task of combining "things", getting rid of sentimentalitites to make room for a new life with a new person. What proves to be the most difficult thing about combining lives, however, is combining our pasts. Big Love and I have grown up two completely different ways, and we are trying to bring both of our upbringings together to create a family environment for our children. So then comes the big dicussions. Do we spank our children? Do we want to approach life like something to be experienced on your own, or with the parental controls contantly weeding out anything not rated G? How long do we make them attend church before we let them discover their own spirituality? How do we approach drug use and drinking? These are all big decisions that will become more difficult as the kids will get older. I am not looking forward to this at all. Fortunately, my children are small, and the biggest decisions we have had to make for them is what kind of clothes they will and will not be seen in. So the thought/question of the day is...how do I know what parts of my childhood should be passed on to my children, and what parts should be avoided? I loved my childhood, even though I was antsy to grow up and experience the world. Is that the kind of experience I want my children to have?

1 comment:

  1. No one should be ashamed of watching Goofy Movie or Muppet Treasure Island! They are, like, modern day literature!

    I'm pretty sure that the simple fact that you are worrying and thinking about this is a good sign that you will make good decisions on those questions.