I am from a happy family. You knew that from yesterday's post. I know not everyone is and when I write about my parents and my childhood and my family I sometimes wonder if I sound a little smug. I hope not. I know I am lucky. Not entitled, just lucky.
I got an email from someone who reads my blog, with her own "I am from" poem. Her childhood wasn't so great. She said she would never publish it on her blog because her family reads it. She said, "I am from gamblers, cheaters and drunks." She said, "I would wonder about other people's stories all glowy and warm. Are they fooling themselves?"
I don't think I fool myself about my family, but I know full well that my "glowy, warm" childhood came, in part, from the not so warm childhood my mother lived. Mom could have said she, too, came from gamblers, cheats and drunks, though she had an extraordinary Grandmother and loving, but overworked mother. I know, and knew even as a child, that she was giving us the childhood she wished she had had. She was lucky that my Dad was nothing like her own father, and her children, were lucky too.
My emailer reminded me of my Mom when she said, "I do know that both my sons would write a story much more like yours than mine and I'm glad about that." My blog friend Dee's "I am from" post was another story of a good life built in spite of a painful childhood.
It felt good to think and write about where I came from and all the good memories life has given me, but reading my emailer's story, and Dee's, reminded me that where and what you came from is only the beginning of your story, or as Dee said, "it is more important where you land than where you take off from."