Growing up, I had the perfect childhood. I lived in a family that loved the Lord, was close knit, full of love, respect, was well-off financially, and all of those other good things. My parents made sure us kids never did without. The girls had dance and piano lessons, and the boys were in little league. We all had more toys than we ever knew what to do with. If we wanted our own pet, we pretty much had it. I had a dog, my sister had a cat, I had fish out the wazoo. My parents took great pride in their children and being part of our lives. Now that I am a mother, I understand just how much my parents loved me. I thought I knew how deep their love was before, but now I realize I had no idea.
My dad and I have always been very close. We have so much in common. We both love dogs, which no one else in our family shares the way we do. When I was in middle school, I wanted a 10-gallon fish tank, so I bought one. My dad and I spent the next several years maintaining and upgrading it together. It was filled with all kinds of crazy fish, newts, frogs, crabs, etc, but the best part was how much it brought us together, and how much fun we had with it.
When I started the 7th grade, I got to pick between being in band or choir. I wanted to be in the band so I could play trumpet like my dad and his dad. Over the next 10 years, my dad nurtured my talent. He was so proud of me, and I gave him every reason to be proud.
My parents taught me how to be responsible, to have dignity and respect. They led by example.
I grew up very close to all of my siblings, but especially my little brother. We have always said we should have been twins, even though we were born four years apart. We are two evil peas in an evil pod. Where one of us went, the other was never far behind. I always told him he was my favorite gift from God, the best thing my parents ever gave me, and that God knew what he was doing when he put us together.
My family was the family everyone always dreams of being part of. Sure we had our crazy moments, our fights, our drama, and everything else that every other family has, but we always had love, and loads of it. I always look back on my childhood fondly. I was raised right by parents who loved their children more than anything. I have learned how to be an awesome mother by the lessons my parents taught me as they parented me over the years. They are awesome parents, and I hope that my children look back on their childhoods as fondly as I do mine. I hope they tell me one day, "I hope I am as good of a mother as you are," because that is what I tell my parents.
My family life has made my life a great life, and I am thankful.