Prompt: Sure, you turned out pretty good, but is there anything you wish had been different about your childhood? If you have kids, is there anything you wish were different for them?
My childhood is something I have mentioned in several of my blogs. Although I don’t have memories of the early years, there are vivid ones of the later ones.
If it were possible, I would have a father in my life to love, nurture and be my protector so that some of the years that were so stressful would instead be ones of happier times.
If he had been different and not an alcoholic and gambler and unable to share love with any of his ten children, life would have been easier not only for me but for my siblings as well. He would have shared the burden of raising them and me, with my mother. Not that she ever made us feel like we were a burden. No, she worked and did whatever she needed to do. While my father was present in my brothers’ and sisters’ lives, he was not by the time I was born. He had become more than emotionally abusive by that time and so had been restrained from the home.
Because of the financial strain on my mother she had to work of course outside the home. In later years when I was around 10 or so she had then taken on a second job at night, coat checking at a major hotel. She would go to her day job and then several nights would go directly the other one. I understood this was something she had to do, but even with two jobs bills would fall behind and we would have to move again, and again and in one instance being evicted, with my mother having to find a place to live the same night.
I was so often the ‘new kid’ in school, and being shy it was hard to make close friends, and it was always so awkward whenever anyone asked about my parents, to have to explain there was only my mother. Back in the 50’s it was not very ‘normal’ to have single parents. Today is quite different!
Of course there are many single parents now, because of circumstances only known to them and I’m not saying that it is not possible for those children to flourish. I am only saying that because of the lack of any physical, financial or emotional support from my father, it was very dysfunctional for me growing up and for my siblings (9) having had to live in an environment with an alcoholic.
Having painted a somewhat bleak scenario, there was my mother who loved us with all her heart and she is the only reason that I made it through those difficult years and was truly blessed. Oh and by the way, we were never neglected as children and we always had food and clothing and were lovingly cared for.
My (our) children were fortunate to have both parents to love and support them and to make them feel more secure as they grew into adulthood and had families of their own.