As I’ve said many time, society wants to convert you, or destroy you.
Many don’t share that view with me, but I’ll argue that society doesn’t give a damn about the family, and it works hard to dismantle ‘traditional’ family values.
Fathers are portrayed as walking jokes or people to be embarrassed by, while mothers are mocked for wanting anything other than a career, while Uncle Sam claims to be a parent in your family structure.
BTW, Uncle Sam is no longer invited to family functions.
He’s proven to be creepy as hell.
So why am I bringing this up so far into this series about your parenting WHY?
Mrs Kravits Strikes Again
When I was roughly 19 years old, my family hit a rough spot in life.
My father, who had been a successful executive of several corporations, found himself in Utah, with a large family (I’m the oldest of 10), and living in a community who just didn’t mind their own business.
We were renting a small condo, and I was helping by working two 24 hour shifts a week at the local 7-11 on top of my regular shift. My boss was a good man and when I explained our circumstances, gave me the night shift whenever I needed the time.
I’d take my checks, cash them, buy a carton of cigarettes for myself, then hand the rest over to my father to help care for the family. As uncomfortable as that was for my dad, I still look at those times with a smile, because I was able to help in some small way and add to his efforts.
The funny part about this—especially working the night shift—was that during the summer, I would sleep by the pool in the condo complex.
Here I was, 19, worked out, tan, always sleeping at the pool, and always had change to give the local kids to grab a soda from the machine.
The TRUTH was that I didn’t have a room, so I slept on the floor or on the couch. I worked nights, so during the day, my house was loud—so I would have a cigarette and then sleep in the warm sun, relaxing to the sound of the water. I had change from a jar I had, looking after every penny—and shared with SOME of the kids, because they were friends to my little siblings.
The moms all knew who I was through my mother and siblings, but I found out later, that the dads?
They thought I was a drug dealer.
So I found it very odd when we got a knock on the door late one night, and my mother opened the door to a social worker and a police officer.
A neighbor had made a call, saying my siblings were undernourished, abused, and that my parents were satan worshippers. The accusation further reported that there was no food in the house, the walls were black and my siblings were in fear for there lives.
The woman insisted she check on the children, to which my darling mother wholeheartedly agreed and welcomed the woman and the officer inside.
What did they find?
I’d like you to know something about my parents.
They are the definition of ‘good’ people.
All that I am, that’s good in me, I got from them.
By word and example—my parents walked the walk every day of their lives, and being parents was their #1 priority.
We were, at that present time, financial poor.
There was enough food. There was heat, light, water, toilet paper, beds, blankets, pillows and something else that the social worker noticed in under 30 seconds.
She walked into a very old room, with old paint and carpet that still had vacuum marks across it from our chores being done 90 minutes beforehand. My beautiful sister—all six of them—were in a circle, on the floor, just bathed and in pajamas, braiding each others hair.
…singing with each other.
My two brothers were on the couch, where I was reading to them.
The social worker stopped short.
Then she looked around.
Then she seemed to get very, very mad.
The officer took one look at my sister, shook his head and left the house.
“I…am so very sorry, Mrs Buckley. There’s obviously been some misunderstanding.”
My mother smiled, the way she always did when someone tried to pass off an untruth. “I think there’s been a lie—and it was pointed at us.”
The woman frowned, but it wasn’t at my mother.
“Yes,” she said, more to herself than anyone else, “Yes, there has.” She looked up then. “And I’ll be looking into that. In the meantime, I’m going to make some special notes attached to your name, describe this incident and make sure you are never disturbed again.”
“That’s very kind of you.”
My sisters never stopped singing to each other.
The social worker looked over her shoulder at my sisters as she walked out of the room, smiling. “You have a beautiful family, Mrs. Buckley.”
“I think so,” my mother replied.
“I’m sorry to have disturbed your evening.”
Then my mother gave a glimpse into her WHY…
“I’m glad you came, and I’m glad there are people who are striving to look out for the welfare of children. It must be a sad job at times, but I’m glad there’s a good person doing it.”
I learned a great deal about being a parent from my mother.
She and I talked a lot about what motivated her, and how she would find the strength to deal with other people and outside forces when my father was gone on business.
She told me how her reasons for being a parent, her ‘WHY’ is what reminded her of the choices she’d made, and how important they were to her. Especially during the times of difficulty and she had a hard time remembering those choices.
I saw my mom in pain.
I saw my mother weep.
I saw my mother beg.
I never saw my mother falter or give up.
…and I’m alive today because of that determination to the a mother that I needed.
In 2004, the center of my Universe was taken, and the only equal I know of to my own wife, died in a horrible car crash that made national news.
…and this world became a little darker because of it.
You get to choose.
That will always be the case, regardless of the circumstances.
Choose what kind of parent you’re going to be.
Write it down.
Stick to it.
You’re going to have times when the world seems to be against you.
Sad thing is, for some of us, it just might be true.
Keep in mind that this is YOUR family.
These are YOUR children.
Stand your ground.
Be who you are, and who you were meant to be as a parent.
Not just for your sake.
…but for theirs.
WHAT TO DO NEXT
Call your mother and tell her you love her.
Do it for me.
…cause I can’t call mine.
You’ve got this.
“A mother is the most under appreciate person in the world.
…and we should be spanked just for that fact.”