(Pic taken 1979 (a year before a I showed up) Mom and my older brody, Kevin Jay.)
Living next to my mother right now…has been healing. We don’t speak much, of anything. But some days we do. We sit down and discuss the things that molded us, and that paved our stories.
As I’m going through my scrap box, my mother has been shuffling with hers. It’s fascinating to seen the way our stories intertwine, how we have been quilted together.
The other day she handed me some writings she had made back when I was just a child, when she was putting into words her own experience. She said I could share it to you and I’m so grateful and honored to be able to share what Cynthia Louise (daughter of Louis Benson and Glenna Goodhart) wrote about her upbringing in 50’s Puget Sound, Seatac, Washington, good ol’ USA:
I had thought our family was the same as every other family until I started to go to school. The realization didn’t come to me until the first day of of the first grade. Nobody pointed at me and told me my family was weird. It gradually dawned on me over the course of time. There were little nagging hints that I gathered up and packed away in my memory.
I had friends that weren’t afraid of their mom’s. They even liked each other. THat was the most amazing thing I could imagine. I stood in awe of my mom, and at a good distance as well. She could switch from a good mood to a punching out the nearest person quick than anyone I had ever seen.
“Ten kids, you have ten kids in your family? You must be Catholic?”
This was the thing that fascinated other kids the most. Four, five, or six kids was considered normal but ten was a bit overwhelming. Most of the time I didn’t mind the questions but sometimes it was embarrassing and I felt like part of a freak show. As I got older and kids would ask if I had brothers or sisters I would tell them that I have four brothers, five sisters and NO WE ARE NOT CATHOLIC!”