I was born in the summer of the early 80’s. As I’m told at 6:53am, weighing a healthy 7lbs 2oz. The eldest of three children. My sister Kara, and youngest sibling Robert would follow. I can hardly remember the length or times of my own children these days. Time seems to have flown past me in more ways than one. I know my parents would agree with me. But for some reason my birthday, weight and time of birth have stayed with me.
I always remember enjoying writing. I’ve often used writing and doodling as a way of an outlet or to let my mind wander. As I grew up in a small town just North of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Called Pojoaque. And to this day have to spell it out using a cheer I heard from the local High School cheerleaders. P-P-Poj. J-J-Joa. Q-u-e. That I quickly adopted when my mother made me and the other sisters of the boys little league Colorado Rockies cheer uniforms, ando I designated myself “Coach”. It still makes me giggle to myself.
I wasn’t raised with as many opportunities as I would have liked as a child. As most kids I’m sure would say. But they gave me something more important than I ever understood at the time.
If you asked my mother, I was her first. I’d say I was the guinea pig. She often believes she was too hard on me to this day. But who she raised me to be has carried me a long way! Now if you asked my dad. I’m not exactly sure what he’d say. But he would most likely give a generic answer every father would say. Like she was daddy’s little girl. And I agree I was and still am. Although I didn’t always feel that way. My sister always said I was bossy and mean. She passed away in 2011. But I believe she’s still here with me. I’ve heard from many people she admired me. I’d like to believe that’s true. But part of me feels like I’m partially to blame for why she’s gone. Such as my little brother. Well we don’t talk much these days. I wish it wasn’t true. But that’s a whole other story that brings me to YOU.
We lived within a 2 hour drive or less to most of our extended families homes. We went the church an hour away ever Sunday and Wednesday. As it was important for me to be taught to serve the Lord and about the importance of commitment to family. My favorite verse to this day is Matthew 6:21. “For where you heart is there your treasure will be also.” Our house rules were normal of a child brought up in a Christian home. Chores before play and daily Bible reading first thing. Except for Saturday mornings when our parents would sleep in and we’d watch cartoon and pour ourselves cereal. My favorites were the Saturday mornings that our Dad would get up and make us a full breakfast! Fried Potatoes, scrambled eggs (with ketchup), bacon and toast. Some days pancakes would follow. But we always had the staple of green and red chili. Yum!
I was home school for me entire life. I always wished for different. I saw the neighborhood kids go off to school each day from my bedroom window. I never understood why I couldn’t just be like everyone else. I knew it was my parents choice. As I grew up I had so many questions. I always wanted to be like everyone else. My mom always told me she was told I’d grow up to be a leader one day. But I just couldn’t see how. So I focused on learning as much as I could about people. In my mind being a leader meant I’d be leading people and if I wanted them to follow me I’d have to learn what made them tic so I could convince them to follow a poor home schooled girl who dressed in hand me downs, and didn’t have anything to offer them.
Some saw this quickly about me. And rather that accepting my curiosity as an opportunity to learn they quickly labeled me. I remember being at my paternal grandfather’s house for our annual Christmas Celebration. I must have only been 6 or 7 years old at the time. Because I remember barely being able to see over the kitchen table when standing next to it. And as I sat there with the adults my toes didn’t touch the floor. And I wished I’d grow faster so they would. The woman who I admired for throwing such a grand meticulously planned Christmas event; whom I was raised to call grandma, noticed my presence during what is now in my adult year to be assumed must have been and adult conversation. Her attention shifted quickly to me sitting there. As she explained to me I should be playing with the other children as children should be seen and not heard”. I must have asked a question. A question she didn’t appreciate apparently. As I felt rushed out of kitchen. This left me feeling I must have done something wrong. Or asked something too dumb and immature to merit an answer. I can’t remember the question. But the feeling still resides with me to this day over 30 years later from time to time.
The hurt, the rejection caused a great deal of doubt in my heart and mind. In my innocent mind I almost instantly felt guilty. Like I did something wrong or wasn’t wanted. I always tried to be included with my cousins. But as grandpa informed me, “trying is lying!” On my dad’s side. I liked to consider my self one of the oldest cousins. But in truth I was I was the sixth eldest of five grand daughters and one grandson. Destiny and Seth, my elder cousins, at this time were not around as they lived with her mother due to a series of unfortunate events that occurred at the hands of their father, my dad’s eldest brother. Molina was the eldest I grew to admire. Along with Brandi her younger but you elder cousin as well. They seemed to have everything I didn’t. I envied their lives and couldn’t wait to have all my dreams come true. They were the daughters of my father’s oldest sister, my favorite Aunt Fran. Monica was six months older than I was. An only child who also had everything she could ask for. Including with the newest clothes and toys. I considered my self more fortunate than her by way I had a brother and a sister; as my Aunt Linda, my dad’s youngest sister could not have more children no matter how hard she tried.
These were the cousins I was expected to socialize with. Peers I had little to nothing in common with. So I held close to the only people I knew I had the most in common with. My little sister and brother who quickly learned to rely on me for motherly necessity. Which I appreciated because it made me feel important, useful and not immature or rejected. Yet I was only a child myself.
This bond between siblings lasted only a hand full of years. It along with any self respect, and self confidence disappeared exponentially in one 24 hour period. This 24 hour period would greatly change the course for me through my growing years.