43 Questions – Roots

Time flies, and I've asked it to, as I remember every passing moment with the children fondly I both eagerly anticipate the future, as well as regret the passage of the present, but only because every precious moment with my children seem to drift away too fast.

The New York Times has an article about 36 questions to fall in love.  I'm counting down 52.  (I need the extra 16).  This week I'm on question Number 43.

If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?

Kind of a hard hitting question, my parents read this, and I cannot imagine a more incredible childhood than the way I had.  Both because it shaped me to be who I am today, but because the factors that went into that are more complicated than any thousand upon thousand of combinations could have come up with.  (The recipe of an adult is extremely simple, just add time, and extremely complicated, add difficulty, add environment, add ice, snow, winter, and heart.)

My Mother, and Father are both youngest children from their respective homes.  This shaped them in many ways, and as a second born of five I have had a chance to change my youngest brother's diaper.  I had a chance to watch the way my parents parenting style changed over the years, I was blessed to have influential moments with my parents that I wouldn't trade for the world… and I have had the chance to make mistakes.  It's these mistakes that help form us into the parents we are.  

From my mistakes I have learned ways that I raise my children differently than how I was raised, and it's possible that if done differently, my life could have gone in a different direction.  (But that's debatable.)

  1. Bed Times – I make sure that at bed time the kids get tucked in by me… but only after each get 5 minutes alone to talk about what impressed them about the day… their favorite parts, and maybe some lessons of warning depending on what's going on at school or in their life.
  2. Every night Family Home Evening – Family Home Evening, in the LDS Church is one night a week where a spiritual lesson is taught in the home… early on when I saw that I was headed towards a divorce I began teaching the children every night, instead of just once a week.  They responded incredibly well, and having started it so young, it's something that doesn't feel 'weird' to them now that they are a little bit older.  I'm not sure if it would have made a difference with me, my home was a home of music and prayer, but I know that for my children it has made a huge difference.
  3. Over-Cautious. – This one is very debatable.  I think that, on one hand, given the child freedom to make mistakes and grow is important… but I can't do it to the same degree with my children.  The big difference is that as I was growing everything was new, technology was new, the internet was new, people were new.  There were dangers out there that I slipped and fell into because no one knew.  So now, as I raise the kids, instead of letting them run forward on their own, we take on each new challenge in this super "G-Force" team, discussing it, talking about what's right and wrong and ways to avoid the traps… and why it's a trap, or not.  I'd say I am over-cautious… and I'm not sure it's as 'over-cautious' as it is "justifiably-cautious".  Gatchaman1

Once again, I'm completely satisfied with my level of care… but if I were to find something to change, it'd be that.  (OR, we'd do everything exactly the same, but only do it on a moon base!  Or in deep space orbit!  How cool would that be?!

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5 Responses to 43 Questions – Roots

  1. Sunny says:

    I came across your site here a few days ago and have spent some time reading it. I find value in writing in this format and can appreciate that you do as well. I also appreciate your writing style, your depth, your honesty, and your vulnerability. You are quite a man. 

    Do you ever wish someone would reply to your questions or posts? Or do you write them merely for you, for the need to write, to express yourself in this way?

    My answer to the question this week would be "Nothing, I wouldn't change a thing". I had a difficult childhood, but it has made me who I am today and so I wouldn't change anything. I lived through a refiner's fire and I'm stronger for it. I wouldn't want to change that for anything. I do however want something different/better for my own children than I had. It's always interesting to me that though I learned from my difficult childhood, I would still choose to shield my children from similar experiences. Does that mean I don't want my children's growth from a refiner's fire of their own? Certainly not, I want them to learn and grow as well, but life does that all on it's own and with the help of a loving Heavenly Father and Savior they are being refined.

    I love it when I come across something that makes me thing and you have done so. Thank you for writing "Something Undone" and for allowing me to be a small part of it tonight. 

    • Durante says:

      Thank you Sunny,  I do write with the hopes that someone will read me.  Sometimes someone does.  and I do love answers to my questions.

      I like your answer, “I wouldn’t change it, but I’d do it differntly for my own.”

      • Sunny says:

        Since you have so kindly put it out there that you like responses to your questions, I’m taking the liberty of going back to your previous questions and answering them. Thanks for allowing me to share with you. 🙂

  2. Omama says:

    I think there are things you'd change, your to kind to mention them.

    You are a better parent by far, then we were! Better and doing magnificently as both mom and dad. We couldn't be prouder! Our hearts bleed that you have to do it alone. There is something seriously wrong with the young women of the world. It's selfishishness!


  3. Ruth says:

    I love my parents very very much.  They have taught me a lot, especially about the gospel.  They were there when my testimony was small and provided me with many opportunities to build my testimony.  If it wasn't for them I wouldn't have been able to withstand the storms that have come my way.  I do the best I can in a one parent household to provide my children with opportunities to grow their testimony too. I know there are many things I lack where together they were strong and desire to still parent like them. But there are a few things I do try to do differently.

    1. I made sure my children knew how to swim well and confidently so that they wouldn't miss out on any fun water activities.  Living on an island I think it is a must to swim well to truly enjoy everything to offer here.  My dad is a fabulous swimmer but was so busy working hard to provide for us he didn't have time to teach us.  My mom can't swim and didn't see it as very important.  I know how to swim…but I'm not confident though I LOVE the water.  It is something I will have to work on over time.  I didn't jump into the deep end of a pool till college swim class.  Shame.  A friend helped me before I got pregnant with my last baby to relax in the deep ocean so that I wouldn't be so scared to do stand-up paddle boarding.  I love it but feel I missed so much when younger.  My children's father is also a great waterman and is capable of teaching the children to swim but I'm grateful I didn't wait around for him to teach the children or they still wouldn't know how to swim.  I found free swim classes and make sure my kids get to those swim lessons.  They love the water and seeing them so confident in water makes me so happy for them.  

    2. Growing up we had a few dreams on our fridge. One was to go to Disneyland. But it never happened.  As a mother, I told my kids we would go to Disneyland and we made it happen by fund raising.  I was 36 when I went to Disneyland for the first time. I want to be there with my children encouraging them all the time to make their dreams a reality.  Growing up I felt like we couldn't do anything because we didn't have money. I want to show my kids that is not true. 

    3. I want my children to be able to talk to me about their boyfriend/girlfriend relationships.  I never felt comfortable talking to my parents about boys.  My parents found out I had a boyfriend from someone else who had seen me in college holding a boy's hand.  When I broke up, I kept it to myself. I felt so alone. Then marriage…blah…know that sex talk before marriage…hahaha! I wish someone talked to me!!!  I think you get the point, I don't want my children to ever feel alone or too shame to talk to me about the opposite sex. I don't want relationships to be secretive. I want my children to come to me for advice. I want to help them to make good decisions. I want to be there for them in a way I wish I had. 

    I think some parts of my raising was very Asian style.  My mom says it is okay to be different, to be better than the generation before.  🙂  I love my parents so much. They are still so supportive to their OLD daughter.  :*

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