BUMPY ROADS

Life is a road which urgently needs repaving. It’s so full of potholes, rocks, broken branches, quicksand and mud, it’s amazing anyone can navigate the whole distance. What makes repaving plans tricky is no two people travel the same road, even if it appears that they have. Sometimes paths cross and even run side-by-side for miles — years — at a time but that doesn’t make it one road.

It’s like a family with three kids. Say you’ve got an older brother and a younger sisters. Your brother becomes a businessman and lives a pretty normal life while your sister discovers her own version of chaos theory. She proceeds to live a life of crisis and yeah, chaos. Not theory, but the real deal. As for you, you’re not entirely sane, but compared to your sister, you’re solidly grounded. That’s worrisome because you know the weird stuff going around in your head. Yet all three of you had the same parents and as far as anyone can see, more or less the same upbringing.

Of course no two children in a family have the same upbringing, not even identical twins. Parents are younger and make mistakes. Parents are older and busy working. Parents are older and haven’t changed their ways since they were kids. Your position in the family changes your life. Girls get extra housework. Boys get the physically harder work. Older siblings wind up babysitting while their friends go out. I wasn’t allowed to watch TV during the school week, but my sister was raised in front of the tube. Childhood is not evenly distributed no matter how hard parents try. Some kids get better teachers or learn easier than their siblings. Same parents. Different upbringing.

So, I guess that road is going to stay uneven. Life will continue to be unfair. It will leave many of us looking skyward, searching for answers and sometimes, for questions. We have great parents, crappy lives. Horrible parents, amazing lives. That’s just life. Infinitely variable, lumpy, bumpy, and ready to twist about that mountain.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Opinionated writer with hopes for a better future for all plus a big helping of cynicism.

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