This week Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop had several topics that I thought I’d write on so this is the first one. I chose prompt #1.) Father’s Day is coming! Share something you’ve learned from your husband about parenting. What makes him good at what he does?
Once upon a time before I had children, I always thought that you had to have HAD good parents in order to know HOW to be a good parent. Not necessarily BOTH parents as one really good one would suffice if two were unavailable. I knew of course all the while I was growing up that my mother’s mother had died when she was extremely young but she was blessed with the good fortune of having a wonderful father who raised his five daughters and son solo after the death of his beloved wife. He did have help from his mother but basically raised them by himself as he had promised his beloved Elizabeth that he would not allow another woman to raise her children.
My father had two parents who raised him so the fact that they both turned out to be good parents didn’t surprise me. I know they did the very best they could with what they had been dealt.
But then all through my childhood and developing years I’d meet people who were not what I’d consider exemplary citizens and I’d eventually get the same song and dance story from them. That story being that they could not help the way they were because they were the product of their upbringing. I took them at their word and never questioned their unsavory character because I “knew” they weren’t raised any better than that and they probably only behaved that way because they didn’t know any better because they had never been taught any better.
Enter stage left…..my wonderful husband. I didn’t really know until much later just how bad my husband had it growing up. He moved to the United States at 5 years old not knowing how to eat with a spoon and fork (chopsticks were the utensils of choice in his household up until then) nor how to read, write or speak English. Being raised in the south in the early sixties and being half Japanese was very hard on him and his family. He was treated with disrespect and much racial prejudice. His mother was essentially a single parent since his dad was in Germany and she was trying to adapt to life in the U.S. which wasn’t working too well for her so she left and my husband and his brother were essentially abandoned. I’m sure that could really mess a kid up. Plus his dad was not a very affectionate man and had a very hard time expressing his love for his children.
Thankfully he was taken in by some wonderful people who treated them like he was born into their family. Still he went through a lot and it could have really messed him up and he could have taken a wrong path and ended up in juvey or worse. Instead he decided to overcome his lack of being parented properly and make something of himself. He told me very early in our relationship that he NEVER wanted his kids to go through what he went through as a child. He said he always wanted his children to feel loved. So I learned from my husband that just because you didn’t have a wonderful example of how to be a parent yourself, it doesn’t mean that you can turn around and become a wonderful parent in spite of the example you were given.
I am so proud of the man, husband and father that my husband has become and I know what a blessed family we are because of him. I can never understand what I did to be so lucky to be his wife and have such wonderful children (no adults) because of this man. He’s the best.