This is s a difficult subject. There are many things that have been a part of my life that I am proud to speak on, even some I am not so proud to speak about, but these things helped me grow into the person I am today.
I have chosen to write about my children. In the end, it all comes down to the people in your life. How they affected you. Did you make a difference in their lives for the better?
My children are very important to me. I have never tied them to my apron strings or tried to control how they think. What I have tried to do, is be a role model in their lives. For example, when I told my children not call people names, I made sure I never called anyone outside their name or nickname. I would ask them, “How would you feel to have someone call you a derogatory word or name? How would you handle that situation?” Of course they said they would not like it, they would do this or that to the other person. I simply said, you can avoid that by not engaging in name calling.
Of course my youngest, who was always ready to do battle, would ask, “What if they start calling me names first?”
Then I would tell him to walk away or say, “My name is ___________. If you forget, just ask. I don’t mind telling you my name again.” and walk away.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not afraid to fight if I have to. I prefer to pick what I am going to do battle over and in my time, not someone else’s. I grew up in the projects and you had to learn to take care of yourself or others would and you wouldn’t like the results.
But back to my children. I am proud of them and my reason is selfish on my part. In each I see me. I see each taking a part of me and doing something good with it. I wanted to go into the military when I came out of school, but found myself in the family way. In those days, a woman with children was not accepted. An acquaintance of mind, gave her son to her mother to adopt so she could go into the military. I couldn’t do that when it was suggested to me. I needed to know my child was being taken care and loved. I felt strongly, only I could do that for him.
All my son’s chose to go into the military without any urging from me. My youngest son was the only one not to get in because he has had asthma attacks all his life and still suffers from attacks that sometimes put him in the hospital. It didn’t stop him from playing sports. He played anyway.
Two of my sons chose to go into the Army and the middle one went into the Marines. I lost my first born in a car accident. He had been in the Army five years when the accident happened. My oldest, my husband’s son, also went into the Army and after eight years, left there and went into the National Guard for twenty years.
My middle son, went into the Marines. He did eight years and went into the Army reserves. He is still in the reserves and has been to Iraq, India, Afghanistan, and several other countries. He is also a law enforcement officer when he is home.
My youngest went into construction work because he likes being out in the open. He has had a few not for the good problems, but otherwise is doing well. I raised his first child, a son, who I consider to be my fifth son. He is twenty-four now and working. He has chosen to continue living with us for now because of the economy.
I am so proud of how they have turned out. They have all chosen good women for wives and I have 15 grandchildren and will soon have my third great grandchild. Life is good. My sons are all still with their wives. Their children are doing good. I am so proud and happy for them. As I said before, they all chose well and I couldn’t be more satisfied with their choices. I love them with all I am.
Well, this is it for now. At some point I will share the challenge of having four boys and later my grandson, in sports and supporting them all. My children have a mother who was not into sports then and still has no interest in sports now. It just does nothing for me even though I played sports with the kids I grew up with and in school. However, I still made sure I was there to support my children, because I knew how important it was for them to see me there cheering them. I have no regrets about the time I spent with them.
We had a yearly ritual of attending the State Fair. Some years, we would go three or four times in the two and a half weeks the fair was open. I still go to the fair, although, I go by myself and only once. About five years ago, I found I still have the interest but the children and their children who are now adults, were only going with me to please me, so I released them from the guilt mood.
I can’t walk as long as I could then and I only go to see what exhibits they have, to buy fair food, and maybe some knickknack that grabs my attention. There is something about buying the food and eating it there at the fair that just resonates for me. The fair is my yearly ritual and I have not missed a year since I started going in 1975 and that includes this year.
We just had the fair here and I made my yearly round of walking, eating, and watching. I love the smell, the sounds, everything about the fair. I had a great time again this year with sun burning brightly in the sky, exhibitors vying for my dollars, and watching the excitement in the eyes of the children. It always bring back the wonderful memories of the times I took my own children and grandchildren to the fair. I even had a picture taken, and I am looking to attending again next year.
Okay, so you know I am extremely proud of my sons’, their children and grandchildren, the choices they have made in their lives, and my husband who is still with us after he was told he would be doing good if he made a year when they found cancer. That is a story I will share another time.
My next installment will be on what I do on my day off. So, until next time, take care. lw