Thief...and 2 Cents...
I am one of 5 - 1 older brother, me, 2 sisters and 1 brother. Yes, you guessed it, my parents are Irish Catholics.
My brother and I were born just over a year apart and my brother was incredibly jealous of me when I came along. He was a really cute baby who had loved being the centre of attention, but I was a 'Dresden Doll' - small, redhaired and had loads of character.
My next sister was born 2 years later. She was born with the cord wrapped round her neck and was a little sickly. She caught measles when she was around 18 months old and sadly lost the hearing in one of her ears.
Recently my sisters and I were talking and my first sister mentioned that I had done a lot as a child to help and support my family. She thought I hadn't really had much of a childhood, because of the family situation. Too many kids and not enough money. My parents often worked 2 or 3 jobs at a time to make ends meet.
Because of their workload my parents did struggle for many years to try and do their best for us. I guess with their exhaustion they didn't realise that they were also coming across as being disinterested, not bothered and generally cold towards us.
I hadn't really thought about it, but it did make me wonder about my 'role' in the family. Funnily enough, I've looked through some old photos and on most of them I have a frown on my face.
My youngest sister sometimes confronts my parents about their behaviours. I have to admit, some of the stuff she says makes my toes curl, but some of it is valid. I also have to admire her openness, as I often take the line of least resistance on these things and don't talk about them. Not because I don't want to deal with any issues, but their actions and behaviours were all that they knew - having come from parents who exibited the same behaviours.
Thank God, I have realised I have a choice to live my life differently. I have a choice as to how to bring up my son - my choice is love, affection, laughter, joy, openness and fun.
And that is my 2 cents worth!