I’ve talked a bit about my life as it is now and today I seem to be thinking a lot about the life I had as I grew up. I’m not sure why today, but probably because I am about to make some life changes that make me think about where I am now and how I got here.
So I grew up the baby of the family and the only girl. Some think this is a wonderful thing, but they didn’t have my brothers! My parents both worked once the three of us were in school. My dad worked in an office for as long as I can remember. He had these toy trucks in his office that I always remember, but I didn’t realize as a child that they were left to him by his predecessor. We lived in a nice split foyer for our childhood in a community with other families like ourselves. My brothers both attended private school until we moved into the only house I remember (they stopped in 1st and 2nd grade). All three of us attended public school and while in elementary school were under the watchful eye of my mothers best friend (she was the school secretary). As we grew up, we all became our own individuals and fought like any other siblings would do. Overall it was a good life with some interesting antics along the way. We were lucky enough to know both grandparents on both sides and our great-grandparents on my mom’s side as well.
Some of my more memorable experiences are to follow!
My maternal grandfather was a character to say the least. I remember stories from before I was born that when originally told were funny, but after I grew up I realized they actually were very sad. For once, I realized he was a heavy drinker (and probably an alcoholic) until after my mother put her foot down with relationship to the three of us. If he wanted to see us and spend time with us, he had to be sober. A sobering experience for him I’m sure. But all in all we were more important than any alcohol on this earth which led to a comedic life for all of us.
My grandfather had many nicknames the most accurate ones being Whitey and Pesty. He would take the three of us our fishing with him and a friend of his with a boat sometimes too. I remember him helping me to catch my first fish and showing me how to put a worm on the hook (something I couldn’t do as a young girl). He always helped me to do new things like this. It would tear my brothers up because they were older and had been taught before, I got all of his attention. Then came Easter his favorite holiday! He would tell my brothers he was going to sneak into the house and steal all their black jelly beans and give them cans of sauerkraut in place of them. And for me, his princess, he wouldn’t do any of that! He hid all the Easter eggs for our hunt. Some of them were intentionally easy to find for me. If my brothers went to pick one up, he would yell at them because they were for me to find. Then he would just about lead me to them. They hated it! I on the other hand loved it all.
As we got older, I found that the middle one of the three of us was the one I fought with most often. We would battle over anything from who got to the door first to who used the bathroom longer. As we got older, I used to “accidentally” get in good graces with whomever he was dating. How else was I to get under his skin? On one occasion when he made me angry, I called his girlfriend by the wrong name, on purpose, just to get him in trouble. It worked and boy was he mad. Then he went away (not so far) to college and lived on campus. I thought I had it made. Not so much! Every time I had a date, he would find out and make sure he was home to “meet” whomever took me out. He would scare them so much they wouldn’t even hold my hand much less kiss me. I ended up being ready early every time anyone was picking me up and making sure they did not meet my brother. See fun times!
As we got older we all moved into new directions, my brothers both got married as did I and we all had children. The first three of them within 6 months of each other. None of us moved very far away and we stayed pretty close throughout the years. My oldest brother and I both have since divorced and the other brother has been very successful in both his personal and professional life. We live very different lives now even though we each grew up with the same two parents and they raised us pretty much the same way. The only exception to the way we were raised was I had more restrictions on me than my brothers because “I was a girl”. I hated that phrase growing up.
Now that I am a parent and a grandparent, I want my kids and grandkids to have the best life possible. I also understand why as parents (and even more so as grandparents) we are so much more over-protective of the girls and not the two older brothers.