Saturday, June 16, 2007

Challenege 6 Origins

Here's another Composition Challenge:

This one is about origins... what shaped me as a child:

I was a military brat, born in a hospital in Turkey. The base we were at didn't have a hospital so when my mom was within a few weeks of her due date she flew to another town and lived in an apartment with several other pregnant women. Can you imagine the hormones in that small Turkish aparment. Full of women missing their husbands and their other children, just hoping their babies would hurry and come so they could go home. My time to come came early, apparently there was about to be some kind of labor strike (the working kind of labor, cause women can't refuse to go into labor) and all the women in the apartment were taken to the hospital and induced to deliver. It was important that we came quickly because they were going to have to get us all out of the hospital and on a plane back home in a short period of time or they would be stranded there with no meal service, no food, and no laundry (cloth diapers). The timing worked out and I was on the last flight out, with my mom, in a cardboard carrying box. This would be the beginning of my life of cramped, cost-effective travelling.

My mom was born and raised in Indiana, working class and farming midwesterners. My dad was born and raised in southern Florida in a small, poor community. I was raised with a combination of Midwestern sensibility and directness and southern hospitality. I was exposed to plenty of both since my parents were both very big on family. We couldn't afford to fly so we would pack into the car and drive every year to Indiana and to Florida. We drove from as far away as Washington State packed into a small volkswagon sedan stopping at roadside rest areas for "picnics" of vienna sausages, underwood deviled ham, bread, homemade cookies and a thermos full of kool aid. Eventually we got a larger car, but my brother was 5 years older than I was and sucked up large amounts of space. We also strarted bringing along the family dog. We got transferred, on average, every 18 months so there were lots of moving trips as well. New schools, new friends, new places to see. For a time, we were able to live in the same town as my mom's family but then we went on a trip to South Dakota to visit my Grandpa's childhood home.

Its funny though, I grew to love road trips and as a parent thought nothing of piling up my four kids in a car and driving all over the country with them. I remembered all the things we got to see as children along the way, the experiences, the civil war battlefields, the museums, the state parks. There is still nothing I love more than heading out on a road trip. My brother, raised in the same household, refuses to take these kind of trips with his two children. They fly everywhere or will only drive a few hours to get places. He and his wife often refer to our childhood vagabonding across the countryside as abusive. So I guess that your outcome also has a great deal to do with your outlook?

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At 10:34 AM, Blogger Lesley said...

After all these years it is still hard to resist the urge to move again...

I KNOW! I get so restless staying in one place. In job interviews I say that moving around alot as a child has made me "versatile" and "adaptible", but I worry sometimes that the real word is "flaky".

I really liked your post--it's funny how we can be shaped less by the places we've been and more by the time spent getting to them.

At 1:29 PM, Anonymous little white liar said...

What a wild birth story. I love this entry.


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