Raising kids is no picnic. Luckily, my three survived my blundering attempts at parenting. My role model was Rosanne Barr’s character, Rosanne Conner. They all turned out with a delightful sense of humor. My daughter always wanted a step-parent. We gave her the answer that we gave her for everything. “We’ll see.” One day she came home from school extremely excited. “We had a step-teacher today!” she exclaimed. Problem solved. She never talked about step-parents again.
My daughter is the oldest. She is four and a half years older than her brother. She is twelve years older than her little brother. If you do the math the brothers are seven years apart. When I found out I was pregnant with my youngest, we sat them down to tell them. My older son had just learned how babies were made several months earlier when we learned a friend was pregnant. As we told him of the upcoming birth of the baby, he looked at both of us with disgust asked stated accusingly, “YOU DIDN’T?!?” My daughter who was in middle school at the time, forbid me from coming to the school. She didn’t want her classmates knowing what we did.
My youngest was never a child, he was a cross between a teenager and an adult. His first toy was a hammer. Not a fisher price hammer but an actual hammer. He could pound nails as a two year old. This is what I believe made him the hard worker he is today. He also loved making money. He would go to work with me as a four and five year old. I worked at a Garden Center that was owned by my parents. He was a bookmaker. I know what you are thinking but not like that. He would draw pictures, staple them together and sell them to whoever he could convince to buy them. As he got older he had more money making schemes. I came home from work one day to find a sign on my garage that said ‘TOP SOIL FOR SALE’. What? We don’t have topsoil for sale. Then I saw the shovel in the yard and a big hole. I guess we do. Soon he starting melting crayons down and putting them in ice cube trays. When he took them out they would be multi-color crayons. He actually was selling them at school and was taking orders from the kids. In middle school he started buying large quantities of gum and selling them to his friends.
My older son was always a hyper little guy. We decided to put him sports to maybe direct his energy in a more positive way. He was a very gifted from t-ball all the way through college soccer. There was a time that we worried about him. My friend went with me to the doctor’s office. My daughter had an appointment. She sat out in the lobby with my oldest son (who at the time was my youngest son). She said she looked over at him and he was chewing gum. She asked him where he got it. He pointed under a table and said, “This is my first time.”
What do we do when our children grow up and leave us? Stayed tuned.