We’ve had some crazy storms here in Colorado lately. I was talking to a mom on the phone the other day and was asking about how her kids did in storms.
Later I was thinking of my childhood. Some of this is 100% accurate, some of it might be a little distorted. I remember living in one house, and when it stormed, we could lay on the floor around our parents bed. That lasted until Dad woke up in the middle of the night and stepped on my chest by accident. That freaked him out enough that we were supposed to stay in our rooms after that. Shortly after we moved to a different town for a different job. In the new house I got my own room. Mom was Suzy-home-maker so of course she was going to make curtains for all of us.
We went to the fabric store and got to pick our fabric for the curtains. I chose this fabric with jungle animals on it. It came in two background colors, blue and black. I’m 99.999% sure Mom wanted me to get blue and I whined and got black. So I get the curtains and then I confessed to my older sister that the real reason that I got the curtains wasn’t because I loved the animals, it’s because it was the thickest/darkest fabric in the area that Mom said we could chose from. I wanted something heavy enough to block the lightning.
So of course my sister did what older sisters do and ratted me out at the first possible moment. My mom was pretty mad. That I’d lied about why I wanted the fabric, that it was so heavy and tough to sew and that she’d done it because she thought I liked the animals, and because it was silly for me to be scared of lightening.
So she took the curtains down and threatened to throw them away. I remember being stuck in my room during a couple of storms with no curtains and being scared and not being allowed to leave my room as punishment. I’m pretty sure that DIDN’T make me less terrified. Heh.
First, I could identify with the guy. My Dad was gone a lot when I was growing up, and it wasn’t until later that I realized that was his way of loving the family. Because that was his father’s way. Working to the bone to put a roof over our heads, food on the table and clothes on our back. There wasn’t a lot of time to play. That’s why Mom was a stay-at-home-mom. She was supposed to provide that. The didn’t realize that for kids it doesn’t work that way.
Secondly, the idea of distorted kid’s lenses. I’ve carried that around with me so much this last year, questioning so much of what I do and say and think, and the way I react to situations, now that I realize so much of the foundation of who I am/was was based on these distorted facts and knowledge from my childhood. The problem with this article is that this guy writes it like *poof*, magically everything is better. And it kind of is. But it’s also hard to change decades worth of… stuff. How much of who he is and how he interacts with others is based off that thinking that his Dad didn’t love him? How’d that affect his feelings of self-worth? Maybe you could thread part of his divorce back to that. It’s going to keep jumping out at him for awhile. At least it did for me.
And lastly, the other theme I’ve been working on. The importance of people recognizing the ways in which you do show love, even if they’re not the ways they want you to show love. What that can mean when it’s a two way street. His Dad realized he wasn’t fulfilling all of his needs and was apologizing and trying to make amends for it, but he also needed to realize that his dad was making sacrifices for the family out of love and needed to appreciate that as well for the relationship to truly grow.