I was inspired one day to tell the story of my family. Short version. From my perspective. Here’s the first installment. Enjoy!
My family is not normal.
But at the same time, my family is very normal.
We grew up together. We love each other. We’re their for each other no matter what.
We’re sharing life.
Though I suppose that could be considered strange as well.
But for us, normal.
My parents met in highschool and married when they were 19 in 1986. My sister came along in 1988, my mom graduated from nursing school. I was born in 1990 and my dad graduated with a degree in respiratory therapy. My brothers came in 1991 and 1994.
I suppose my life was normal up til I turned 6 or so. My sister was going to a private school. My parents both worked. Though we never really had to stay at daycare. I had two younger siblings one older. We lived, we fought, we loved, we laughed. Even then we were a big family. People asked my mom if she was babysitting. She didn’t think it was funny. We have young genes.
Life got a little weird in the opinion of some when I was set to start kindergarten.
We went to the school. Met my teacher. I begged my mom to play on the teeter totter (the playground with the enormous slide was going to be my favorite part, I thought.)
A little after that my parents decided homeschooling would work better for our family. The cost of the private school was steep. The relationship between siblings was slipping. They felt like they could do better for us at home. And they have. In my opinion.
That was the beginning of not so average lives influenced and led by our parents.
While other kids went to school and made fleeting friends with kids their age, my 3 siblings and I became close for life. We fought. We bit each other. We tattled. we threw chairs at each other and hid around corners and scared the bejeebers out of each other. We cut the hair of each other’s dolls (ok, maybe that one was just me.) We definitely had a wonderful base of sibling bonding time. People thought we were perfect. No, really, they wondered. We put on a good show in public, but we were decently normal.
But maybe the bonding occurred more in the play. We built hammocks with sheets off our swingset. We spent days at a time outside. We played covered wagon and oregon trail in the weeds by the dirt pile at the bottom of our three acres. We played titanic on the stairs (I don’t believe I really understood that story, my older sister was the creator of the games). We danced to Steven Curtis Chapman and had set characters we played. We dressed up the cats and our brothers.
School happened in the morning. We plowed through mathbooks. My sister and I fell in love with reading. We learned the necessary and the glorious. Our dad read to us every night.
Chapters of The Rats of NIMH (I remember my dad taught us what the ‘lee’ of a stone was), Narnia, historical fiction (where “Britta’s blond braids bounced on her back” and my dad wondered about the sanity of the author and her use of alliteration), and tons of short story books.
Life took off and the love of learning stayed with us all.
We all realized we liked different things and eventually realized we learned different ways.
and oh yeah, we FOUGHT.
Don’t go putting us on any old pedestal.
We have no claim to perfection.
Just blessed by parents who rely more on God’s grace than anything else.
So I guess it’s all God’s fault actually. None of us really had anything much to do with it.
(to be continued…)