For a long time I felt my life was hard when I was growing up. I have over time come to realize that my story is not all that unique and my life, no matter how difficult or unfair, was and is not bad at all. In fact I’m one lucky son of a mechanic and foster parent.
When I was growing up I was always freakishly bigger than my classmates and in kindergarten I could look my teacher eye to eye. I was horribly out of shape though, as big round as I was tall. My parents built into me a significant awareness of my comparative size and I knew not to be aggressive towards kids my age.
The most traumatic lesson in this was going to wrestling camp when I was five and having to wrestle 8th graders simply because they were the youngest kids in my weight group. I got my butt kicked.
I was especially taught when I was very young, never to hit a girl. This also resulted in a traumatic experience where I made fun of a girl on the playground, who recruited friends, ganged up on me and a nose bleed and hurt pride later I hardly ever picked on a girl again.
Traumatic experiences at the time, but in retrospect some good learning experiences.
So what did I learn, and am letting you know on a night where people go from house to house dressed up for the most part as someone they are not.
Be five when you’re five, be a gentleman at all times, but at all times be you.
I may have went to a private school and tried to hang with the kids that had the money, but I didn’t have the money and trying to fit in was more work than it was worth. My true friends never cared how much money I had, or if I could show it by the car I drove or the clothes I wore.
I would have been much happier and my parents would have been too, if I was just me. A kid that wasn’t the richest kid on the block, but was fortunate enough to get one heck of an education.
I really wish I would have been me.
I have over time come to embrace being me and be comfortable that not everyone will embrace who I am, but that’s okay. I ultimately hope you will understand and embrace me and I know if you do it will be for who I am and what I believe.
So what is that today:
1. I’m your dad
2. I’m your mom’s husband
3. I am a family member and friend
4. I am a person who wants to give more than I take
5. I’m me
There’s more, but that’s enough for now.
Thank you for being my treat!!!!