What was your childhood like-and what did you learn from it?

I know this isn't necessarily a political question, but I am interested in the experiences of those I see and have come to know on here, and even those I disagree with on most things. We grew up very poor, my brothers and I. My mother worked as an assistant manager at Dairy Queen for most of my childhood and my father as an iron worker/welder since he was 15 until his death at 40. Sometimes my dad would work two jobs and we hardly saw him, while my mother worked very long hours. I know my story is not unique in this regard. We grew up on the shores of Lake Whitney in a little fishing village called Laguna Park, located between Dallas and Waco, Texas with a population of no more than 600. I spent most of my time barefoot, running around in the forests and around the lake and getting sunburned. We were the "Lake Rats", considered lower class by those from Clifton, the location of the school I went to. We were the messy, poor and disheveled ones with hand-me-down clothes. The popular kids never came from Laguna Park, and if they did they usually denied it and preferred to be driven to school rather than take the bus. Now, I am not exaggerating when I say "poor". It was to the point where those who brought their own lunches (as opposed to those of us who got free lunches) were considered by us to be "rich". I'm not kidding. Now, we were poor even by the standards of Laguna Park and we knew it. I remember going to where my dad worked and helping him by handing him tools and finding the right pieces of iron for him, as well as running drinks back and forth for him and the guys he worked with. When I was done for the day he would pay me based on what we had agreed to. Thinking back, OSHA would have a cow if they knew that a boy of 9 was in a metal shop helping his dad. But I don't think it was a negative experience in the least. Yes, I got my share of scrapes, bruises and sore muscles, but I enjoyed it and it gave me an immense respect for the working man which I carry to this day. I knew only a fraction of the true work my dad had to do and even that was enough to leave me exhausted all day. The last time I worked with him was when I was 15, just a few months shy of his death. I learned that just because I may know something a person does not-this does not make them stupid. I never learned to weld, though my father was hinting that he would soon teach me as he taught my two older brothers (they were actually half-brothers from my mother's previous marriage). A society cannot work with only welders, doctors or architects, nor can it work with only grocers, landscapers or garbage men. We each do our little part to help the country run it's day to day affairs. So I learned to respect and learn from the various skills and knowledge of others. I will probably never weld for as long as I live, or plant crops or give you a life saving vaccine-but neither will I ever disrespect these people or look down on their hard earned skills. So what was your childhood like-and what did you learn from it?

Asked By: Travis Anderson - 5/28/2010
Best Answer - Chosen by Asker
We were the "proper" family of older people --- we were also the upper middle class related closely to the upper echelon of the less than 2 % We lived on a beef and hay farm with lots of little side business going on... More
Answered By: Trout - 5/29/2010
Additional Answers (1)
I grew up in a small town (5,000 people) in a remote part of northern Ontario, Canada. It was situated in the middle of 3 different native tribes. The next biggest town was 50,000 people and it was 150Km south... More
Answered By: FizzyBubbler is Back! - 5/29/2010
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