Personal Childhood Web

Growing up the people that loved, nurtured and supported me were my parents, my grandmother, my siblings, my aunt and my uncles.  Each of these people were influential in my early growth and development and they continue to be an important part of my life.

My siblings, both younger, have always made me feel special just for being their big sis.  I am five years older than my sister and six older than my brother so needless to say, I was their first teacher.  I got to teach them everything I was learning in school before they were even old enough to go to school.  They have supported me throughout every major event in my life--college, marriage and divorce with unconditional love, although my brother is still a little upset I left home to go to college.

My grandmother!  My grandmother and I share a very special bond, my birthday is the day before hers and I am her oldest grandchild.  Granny and I always shared a birthday party, even to this day we sometimes share a party.  My granny helped me live up to the Leo status because she always made me the center of attention.  With all the great grandchildren she now has I still  feel like a special part of my granny's life.

My aunt was truly a special part of my life.  Long ago, in a different world I remember my aunt would take me everywhere with her.  She was like a second mom to me and she loved and cared for me as if I were her own.  One of our favorite places was where she played pool, I remember sitting on the bar eating pickles while she played.  Today, my aunt is in a different place in her life but I still feel loved when I talk with her and recall our times together.

My uncles, ah wonderful men who were a big part of my life.  Uncle Henry was very much into WWF and I remember quite a few *soft* slams onto the ring (mattress).  He is only 12 years older than me and was more like a big brother.  He taught me how to wrestle and defend myself, how to drive and always always tells me how much he loves me.  Uncle Henry is wonderful to everyone, he has a beautiful soul and loves his family more than anything in this world.  Uncle Donald has always been one of my favorites.  I think I felt special with him simply because I was the first niece, we were joined at the hip.  He has always been there for every milestone in life, with real talk and advice, sometimes even playing devil's advocate.

Last and most importantly, my parents.   I will sum them up by sharing something my mother always tells me, "you were a blessing to me."  My mother was a teen mom way before it was cool to be a teen mom and she took that responsiblity very seriously.  I grew up around a lot of adults, but my parents always made sure I had a wonderfully enriched childhood.  They encouraged me, uplifted me and took every opportunity to teach me everything they could.  They told each of us that a parent's job was to make their child's life ten times better than theirs.  My parents spent time with me, there were no 24 hrs of cartoons, Nick Jr didn't have to prepare me for school, Wendy's was a special treat for us to eat!  The first time I had Burger King, I was in college and away from home.  All of those things made me feel special and when I look at children today I feel totally blessed not to have attended daycare, spending most of my days in front of the TV, eating fast food for dinner or having to shuffle between parents' houses.

Each of these relationships lead me to this field and I think that's why it's so important that I continue with my work because even though every day may not have been perfect, I was truly blessed to grow up with the people that I did.  Even though there were three children in my house, my parents made every effort to make each of us feel special, like individuals, they never compared one to the other and they allowed us to grow into our own.