I’ve learned a lot during this A to Z Challenge—and believe me, it has been a challenge. Writing about my family has taught me how to pick through memory clutter and mold experiences (sometimes unpleasant ones) into entertaining, colorful stories. As a result, I’ve realized my childhood memories weren’t as unpleasant as I’d originally thought; they were just a little distorted. Or am I distorting them now?
I’ve sat in Sunday school classes and listened to other women rave about their Betty Crocker moms and their Father Knows Best dads, and I’ve wondered if they were telling the truth. One shouldn’t sit in church and wonder if their friends are lying, should they? But everyone’s parents seemed very different from mine.
My parents were strict way beyond fairness—at least Mom was, and Dad always backed her up. They were quick to dole out punishment, and very lacking when it came to encouragement. I was never told “You can do and be anything you set your mind to.” Were you? I know it depends on when you were born. Anyone born after the 60s probably had it sweet.
And it isn’t. Sometimes it’s better; sometimes it’s worse, but it’s never like we think it’s going to be. That’s a given.
You’re in for a rude awakening, she’d tell me. And when I visit her in the nursing home, realize I miss the woman she was, I know Mom was right. My rude awakening has finally come.
Share something that breaks your heart.