A BIT OF ME (ME) — TWO PLUS TWO

Today’s meme is hosted by There’s A Book.

Every week, we share bits and pieces of our lives and connect to others who are sharing their own tidbits.

Today’s question:

DO YOU COME FROM A LARGE OR A SMALL FAMILY, AND HOW DO YOU THINK IT INFLUENCED YOUR LIFE?

I think that family size, birth order, and all kinds of other factors do influence our lives. To me, my family of origin felt like a family with two + two children. My older brother and I were a unit; then eight years after I was born, my younger brother came along, followed five years later by my sister.

Family dynamics were very different between the two sets.  Our responsibilities, what was expected of us…very different.

I left home when the younger two were still very small, so my experiences with them came later, when I would come back to visit.  My sister and I do not share a “sisterly” bond.

To this day, I’m not that close to her.  My younger brother and I had a stronger bond (he was eight years younger), and I used to “babysit” him, read to him, etc.  Nowadays, we have an amicable relationship.

My older brother died when he was in his forties, but he and I shared the strongest bond.  We were in high school, and then college, at the same time.  We both married (the first times) in the same year and had our first homes in the same general geographical area.

We then went our separate ways, though, following career paths, etc.  We would generally only see each other at family gatherings.

I scrounged through my photo albums and couldn’t come up with a picture of us growing up.  That probably says a lot.  I do recall there were family “movies,” with the Super 8 camera, which we later transferred to videotape.  And there were slides.  But no actual photos.  Hmm….

I was born during WWII (okay, that means I’m VERY OLD!), and film was at a premium.  That was their story and they’re sticking to it!  lol

In some ways, my life was most affected by the times in which we grew up.  Doing without and wishing for more was a theme throughout my childhood, even after times and finances improved.   That depression and war era perspective colored our lives in that our parents were never free from worry.

In my own life, I’ve chosen the opposite tack.  Live each day fully and don’t be afraid to take risks. Today is here and now…live in the now.  I was ripe for the sixties era, with the fascination with living for the moment.

I still live that way today, for the most part.  So, in a sense, the family in which I grew up groomed me and set me up for the “flower child” era and the freedom that time gave to us.

You could probably call me an aging flower child!

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16 thoughts on “A BIT OF ME (ME) — TWO PLUS TWO

  1. Pingback: WEEKEND POTPOURRI « Laurel-Rain Snow's Potpourri

  2. I am all about going in a different way from what we were “groomed” to be, nice to see someone else feels the same way. I still struggle with my parents on this and it isn’t exactly like I am a spring chicken!

    I am sorry that you lost your brother, especially since he was the one you had the strongest connection with.

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    1. Thanks, Gwen…your thoughtful comments are most welcome. Sometimes it takes awhile to find our way, but in the end, if we do what’s right for us and the family we create (kids and grandkids), we can still have satisfying connections.

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  3. I seem to know lots of families with an “older” family, a big break and then a “younger” family… or the so called surprise kids! 🙂 My sister in law just had her baby #5 this past week, after a six 1/2 year break. Fun stuff!

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  4. I completely understand about not being close to your siblings…my youngest sibling is 11 years younger than me and she doesn’t really even feel like a sister – I moved out of my parents house when she was 6, so we didn’t grow up together or really have a sibling kind of relationship. I’ve learned, over time, to cultivate friends who are like a family to me, I think in part to make up for the lack of relationship with my siblings.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Crystal. That’s what I’ve done, too…created my own “family of friends.” We celebrate family events together, and in many ways, it’s better.

      My actual family members really feel more like “acquaintances.”

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  5. Pingback: THE SUNDAY SALON — AUGUST 22 « ACCIDENTAL MOMENTS

  6. This was so neat to read Laurel. It’s nice to see a different side of everyone, especially when you can see how much you’ve overcome to be the person you are today. Because from just reading about your family life in your youth I would assume you would be closed off and not interested in reaching out. But in fact, you are quite the opposite, always reaching out and caring. It’s quite an accomplishment to see when our circumstances change us for the better and you definitely have done that. I know your own children probably greatly appreciate that! Thank you so much for sharing!

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    1. Thanks for the kind words, Danielle…I have definitely worked hard to be a different kind of person. I always wanted my kids (and now my grandkids) to know how precious they are to me, and that it is very important to pursue our dreams without fear.

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