Saturday, February 9, 2013

Day 3: On Early Starts

The sun is barely up and we pull out of the driveway, already late.

Sweetpea, who is now almost 9, has a dance competition about an hour away.  

At this early hour, I've already broken the last evenings promise and the conviction to be more kind to my loved ones.

I could say ~

• I'm only one person trying to get myself & two little ones out the door 2 hours earlier than we do every weekday for school

● I blame Sweetpea for blinking and smudging her makeup, but I know she is so frightened of eyeliner and mascara getting in her eye. I have to start over on her left eye {SIGH}

 • I could blame myself for booking 2 home parties back to back before a competition day

But they're all just excuses for my serious shortcoming in this area. 

And I do wonder again, how far back do I need to go to figure out how I got to here? 

I did in fact, go way back today - I re-read almost every post I have written here at Gleaning Grace. 
And while that is a lot of reading and skimming, it was very important.  I think we can learn a lot about ourselves by looking back and really remembering who we were and where we were {mentally}. So the past is definitely helpful.

My original thought was to go back to high school for the beginning of my 31 days of grace; I'm afraid I have to go back much further.

I've written before about myself in high school, albeit briefly, and you can read that here if you'd like. I have to say in reading back through my posts, that one is not one of my finest.

I've also written about my parents on several occasions and the love they share and how they raised me and my brothers.  My favorite such post was this one.

I think something notable about me and my personality is that my parents we so young when they got married and then had me.  My Dad comes from a large family; he was close to the youngest as I mentioned previously.  Because his oldest brother is about 20 years older than him, he had some unique experiences growing up, including losing his own father when he was only 17.

At 20, he met and starting dating my mother, only 15 at the time.  Now, I know that sounds young, but in the small town I was born in, many people still married as young as 16 or so.  

My Mom grew up the youngest of 3 girls, in a household with an alcoholic father.  I don't think it's any wonder that by the time she was 17, she'd fallen in love with my dad and was ready to get married and move out.

Her parents signed the release for her to get married before she was 18 - the summer she was 17.  So she actually completed high school, her entire senior year as a married woman. By the time she graduated, I had been conceived.  She gave birth to me about 2 months before her 19th birthday.

Looking back on my childhood, I always appreciated having young parents.  I even remember thinking it was odd that some of my friends parents were so much older.  What those friends probably thought odd was how strict my parents were compared to their parents! Even as young as they were, my parents had very rigid rules for us.  I know they wanted only the best for us, but perhaps rebellion is sometimes born of too many rules.

I also remember thinking that I too wanted to marry young and start a family. After all, Mom and Dad did it and they loved each other and we were all alright, weren't we?

In hindsight, I am so glad that I didn't get married so young.  I did complete both high school and college before tying the knot and, even more surprising {disappointing to me at the time}, I was 28 before our first child was born.

I can't remember a time when I didn't want to be a Mom.  I had baby dolls like most little girls, but when I was 11, my Mom had my baby brother and I so desperately tried to make him my baby.  As we got older, I cared for him during the summers, even driving him to places like the roller skating rink and local pizza buffet.  People often asked him if I was his Mom, although that was ludicrous because I didn't even look 16 according to most people.  

One other thing that stands out to me from my childhood, is something I've written about before.
My Dad wasn't around much when I was growing up.  I mean he was, but he wasn't.  He worked so hard to keep us housed, clothed and fed that he was really only home to sleep.  Weekends were consumed with yard work and church activities.  

It's cliche I know, but I think not having my Dad around a lot when I was younger, made my relationships with other males different.  It definitely influenced my feeling that I needed approval, love even, to be special.  It's almost certainly responsible for the fact that I rarely went 2 weeks without a boyfriend.

And even more than that, I just couldn't be ALONE. Being alone would mean having to figure out why I cared so much more about pleasing others than pleasing myself and, more importantly, pleasing God with my life.

Stop back by, and please, bare with me, as I continue this Days of Grace series!

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