Friday, October 17, 2014

A Rude Awakening

A Rude Awakening

As a child, everyone grows up with this fantasized view of the world where everyone and everything is nice and perfect. Parents love their children, bad people go to jail, and anyone who misbehaves gets in trouble. Many children wake up from this sugar-coated dream at a young age, including me. When I found out that my family wasn't as perfect as I thought, it altered my view of the world completely.

It was a pretty average day for a five year old, with my dad driving me from my mom's house back to his house. We were driving down that winding road that has all of those lush green trees that can take your breath away with one look. With the windows cracked open, you could smell autumn making its way throught the air, with the warm colors close behind. I was struggling to regain control of my hair as gusts of wind blew it into a mess; silence filled the car. Our conversation about school that day had just ended when, in that silence, I recalled a televison show episode I had watched earlier, That's So Raven. In the episode I wathced, Raven goes through a situation where she thinks her parents might get a divorce. I had no idea what the word divorce could possibly mean at the time, so I continued to watch the show. By curiously watching the show, I eventually guessed that divorce was when the mom and dad seperated. Something abou that term was bothering me since I left my mom's house, but I just couldn't put my finger on it. I then started to connect the dots and notice the similarities to my life. A million thoughts raced through my head all at once. Could my parents be divorced? Am I adopted? If they're divorced, why do I have four parents? Are my parents kidnappers? I couldn't imagine my mom and dad ever being happy together. I then realized that it must be true because I knew I looked too much like them to have been kidnapped or adopted. I then asked the dreaded question, "Are you and Mommy divorced?"

My dad showed no surprise towards the question and calmly answered, "Yes", explaining the details about how and why they had seperated. He also confirmed that I was indeed not adopted or kidnapped at any point in life. Initially, I wasn't as shocked as expected because everything fit like a puzzle. It explained why I traveled between houses, why I had more than two parents, and why my parents didn't get along. This moment gave me the rude awakening that no one and no family is as perfect as it's thought to be. I also learned that just because a family isn't picture perfect, doesn't mean they aren't a family.

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