What will you do when s*it happens?

Because s*it DOES happen

Upon reflection, I remember the forks in many roads or paths I’ve taken that resulted in failure yet I always disciplined myself to ask myself:

What have I learned from this experience?

Taking the cue from my parents who were enrolled in a programme that forced them into being a better person.

I wasn’t necessarily better than anyone else. My mother ruled with an iron fist.

I can still feel the sting of the wooden ruler after my siblings and I did what we were trained to do: line of with our hands up, palm upwards. The wait was excruciatingly painful. Almost more than the physical strike of the hard “whack” that numbed our senses as a coping mechanism.

My older brother — Baby Boomer — was a boy who was expected to grow up faster than other generations, except I’m sure the post war era babies, when boys too young to fight in the war were trained from birth to taking responsibility in the family business or the business of family.

By the time I became a parent, full blown in my early 30s it was on the heels of experiencing success from my career.

Talk about mixed messaging

By

By the end of the 1980s, many Yuppies found themselves in the role of motherhood. Brought up by the values where dads went to work to bring home the bacon, and moms were the superheroes who cooked the bacon and raised the children’s value, manners, polish and poise.

I’ve told my kids snippets of my childhood in stories.

An edited version that made it more palatable to their young minds.

There were warring factions of child rearing. As the guinea pigs of the Dr. Spock bAby bible mixed with War Era and post 1920s crash grandparents, who ultimately responsibility for the toughness of their children, our parents.

An explosive collision between entitlement and expected culture.

I can thank my mom for teaching me resilience:

No matter what crappy hand you were dealt, you could always be clean, polished, head up, looking forward. There was never an acceptable excuse for sloth, dirt, untidy appearance.

It was more like the harder you presented outwardly perfection, the easier it was to mislead others to look any closer, to the heartache and imperfections within the personal life.

When my father was partying it up, she was sewing us clothes made from the real Rummage Sales purchase of curtains to make my sister dresses. Hats and white gloves we were dressed when we went to church obediently and respectful outlook, manners sharp and drilled to treat elders with reverence, calling them Mr or Mrs until the seldom given permission to call them by the first name. More often, first names coincided with Aunts and Uncles at the most. If someone had earned a medical doctorate called Dr. last name. We didn’t call our priests Father first name, it was always Father Last Name.

To this day, if I find myself in a perplexing manner situation, I will call my 84 year young mother to ask her the proper etiquette.

During my headstrong years in my 20s, during the 80s, I did debate with her more on the other side of the equation, resulting with disapproval. I rued the day my father got involved because I had upset my mother so much. It was a tag team no win situation.

To be continued …..

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