I was inspired today by Kathy Streib which happens many many days!! But today she stirred up my memories of what it was like growing up. And I was one of those lucky kids to grow up in a lovely family with great parents and an extended family. And I'm very thankful for them!
My first memory is probably when I was about 3 or 4. My birthday is on Christmas Eve and I so wanted a baby kitten for my birthday - or Santa. Well my parents didn't want kittens in the house! My Dad, bless his heart, brought home a surprise birthday basket for me. He told me to close my eyes and feel what was in the basket. I did and it was a basket full of stuffed fluffy kittens. I was so happy and excited about having my kittens! I can still feel that moment to this day. My Dad was the kind of guy who would get down and play with all of us kids on the floor, horsey or monsters or whatever - such a fun man. When we were young he was VP for some big hardware chain. His warehouse had a lot of stories, 15or 20. But our favorite floor was the 8th floor because it was FULL of toys. On some Saturdays he'd gather up all the kids and take us there and let us play for hours. I'm guessing it also gave my Mom a break at the same time! He was also known for bringing home 4 or 5 sets of toys like hula hoops, skis, you name it. Needless to say, all the kids in the neighborhood loved playing at our house! One of the greatest gifts my Dad gave me teaching me how to have a good business mind. Sometimes he'd take us with him to the office on weekends and we'd play 'business'. I also loved helping him put bank checks in numerical order. I have no idea why I liked doing that but he always made me feel important and what a good job I did. Such a great Dad!
My Mom was a kick! She was an extremely creative type and loved to get us to think and grow outside our boxes in many ways. She played music and danced and played out the various parts of the song line - as did we. The one I remember the most is Peter and the Wolf. She was the woof and a scary one too. We used to run all over the house playing that song/game for hours. I had a ton of cousins and they loved playing these song games too. She also was a very wise woman - far ahead of her times. One of the things she taught me that has been very helpful to this day is always speak the truth and do so with kindness and understanding. She say - don't react quickly. Stay quiet and think about what and how to say what you really want to say. It's probably why I'm for the most part very calm and don't get frazzled by much. And if I do I just take a break or go hiking and chill out. She was also a incredible home designer. When I was about 8 or 9 she told me I could decorate the recreation/play room however I wanted. Yikes...she even let me paint the furniture & walls whatever colors I wanted. And trust me there was some odd choices at first! What she taught me is that there is always another way to look at things and all I had to do is play with it differently. To this day my 2nd passion has been design thanks to my Mom.
I could go on and on about my parents! I am beyond grateful for them!