Wednesday, June 23

happy [family] day

I am finding it hard to write on one thing when so much has changed in the past couple months. Lately I've been thinking about my family -- particularly how thankful I am for them.

Since working at my new job I've sort of been forced to think about how I grew up and what qualities makes up a 'healthy' or 'functional' family. It seems that many of the girls who get sent to this program are here for one/some/all of the following reasons: no father figure which gets them searching for one in an older (often a much older) boyfriend -- it seems that any guy that is 19 and starts dating one of these 13, 14, 15 year old girls doesn't have pure intentions -- said boyfriend often gets them in to drug/sex/money trouble. The girls often find themselves in trouble because they have way way way too much time on their hands -- I didn't think the saying "idle hands are the tools of the devil" was true until I started working here. The last common theme that runs through the girls' situations is that often the mom tries to be the girl's friend rather than her mother and so the girl is given opportunity/no boundaries/freedom/ to make big mistakes and then the parent(s) don't initiate any consequences because they don't want to risk friendship with their daughter.

The more I've thought about it the more I wonder how my parents somehow intuitively knew to squash all three of those things before they were in issue for me when I was growing up. I won't go into details but, although neither of them came from the stablest of houses (that might be an understatement), they were able to create an incredibly strong one for my sister and I to grow up in. None of the aforementioned things were issues for me. In fact, I have a hard time thinking of anything that my parents did which could have turned into an 'issue'.

I wonder why for some there seems to be a parental 'on' switch and why some don't get theirs flipped. How are some parents able to teach their kids the difference between right and wrong? Why are some parents better than others at teaching their kids that for every action they take there is a consequence -- good or bad? And, why are some kids less likely to heed their parents advice...

Every day I am at work I am reminded of how thankful I am for my mom and dad. I think about how lucky I am to have a sister whom I love and [finally] get along with and share common interests and have similar ideas on what a family should look like. I am so happy for and amazed by all of my aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins who have always been interested and supportive of every idea/hobby/whim I've ever had. I am realizing the importance of letting each one of these people know what a difference they've made in me and that I love them probably more than they'll ever know.

family: happy belated

I love/miss/am thankful for all of you.