Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Rebel, Rebel...(Pt 1)

31 years ago, I was born in Mesa General Hospital in Mesa, Arizona.  Very healthy, 7 pds 7 oz, and from what I was told, had the darkest hair and eyes, that they confused this white girl with the Hispanic babies born that day.

My parents had decided to have their first born, because they wanted to give a grandchild to my grandfather dying of cancer (mom's side).  He lived another 20 years, and thank goodness he did, because I was the apple of his eye.  My mom always said "You were planned", and not until the last year does that statement mean a lot to me.  Why?  I really don't know.  I get sidetracked don't be surprised when things go all over the place in this blog.

A little background on my parents - my father is from Ohio and my mother is from Germany.  He was rough around the edges for a girl like her.  She spotted him in her high school parking lot in Ohio.  She was still in school and he had graduated.  I'm assuming she was drawn to the bad boy image my dad had around town.  He was wild, tall, way too skinny and had long blonde hair.  She was beautiful with her long brown hair, reserved and well-behaved.  They dated for 4 months, broke up and fate reunited them a little over 4 years later.  More on that in another post on another day.

The first few years of my life, we lived in Chandler, Arizona, but soon relocated to a home in Mesa around the time my brother was born, 2 years later.  When he was born, I noticed a major shift...I was obviously not the center of attention anymore.  I do believe I developed a rebellious streak and a NEED TO BE SEEN attitude shortly, thereafter.  My mom enrolled me in dance around 3 or 4, and it was my first outlet to be the center of attention again.  I really shined.  That was a distraction from my brother...who I often bullied at that age.  I was a hardcore biter!

My parents bought their first home in Gilbert, Arizona.  If my timeline is correct, it was right around the time I was starting kindergarten.  I remember my grandparents (mom's parents) around all the time since both of my parents worked full time.  I loved having them say they spoiled my brother and I is an understatement.  My grandmother acted like the house maid - cooked whatever you wanted, cleaned the house, and always had things in perfect order when my parents came home.  My grandfather took us to the public pool at the end of our street often, out for ice cream, or any other place we wanted or needed to go.  At a very early age, I noticed how much my grandparents loved each other.  They always wanted to be together.  It was icing on the cake that their ultimate element was being around my brother and I.  They also had a toy poodle that they brought over, named Peaches.  They doted on the dog just as much as they did on us.  Probably the main reason I am such an animal lover today.

When they went home for the evening, it was back to business.  My parents had worked a long day, and here you have two kids who just spent the last 3-4 hours being given anything they want.  I can't speak for them, but I'll speak on it now - we were brats!  A typical night would involve my brother and I sitting at the dinner table, spitting our vegetables into a napkin, or hiding them in our pockets.  I was a big complainer about what my mom would prepare, since it was junk food city after school.  After that we'd make a mess (my mom has always kept a house so clean, you can eat off the floor) or brawl with each other.  I was still bullying my brother since he remained much smaller and powerless over me.  In one incident I had thrown a blanket over my brothers head and shoved him head first into the corner of the wall.  A trip to the hospital was made since he had to be stitched up.  If my mom had to take us anywhere, like the grocery store or the mall, I'd either get mouthy or my brother would misbehave by hiding in the racks.  If we reached her limit, we got the belt from dad when we got home.  Obviously my brother and I had no idea how hard our parents had worked all day to provide for us, and why they weren't as easy-going as my grandparents. But, in our defense at that age, it's not something you can comprehend.

I'm just getting started on my childhood.  It's spotty in places, but I hope you're ready for a long read... :)

My mother, 3 months after giving birth to me...and my dad admiring in the background.  Isn't she gorgeous?

My mom and I on my first birthday - Chandler, AZ

My grandmother and I.

My dad letting the military straighten him out :)

My grandfather.

My brother and I - around 1984

My brother and I - Easter 1985

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