I don't know of any subject matter that is as involved as families,
especially the American family. A happy family is like a baseball
team, Mom pitching, Dad catching, the kids fielding, and everyone
taking a turn at bat. That seems to be the way the movies would
portray family life. In most instances that is a fallacy. Nowadays there
are more model homes than there are model families.
Take just about any family that has children and you will find that just
to keep peace within requires patience, love, understanding, and at
least two television sets. Every one has heard the saying," A Family
that prays together stays together." I think in these economic times it
could be amended to read: " A family that prays together stay together
and families that work together eat." Growing families have a way of
outgrowing everything; especially their income as it takes a raft of
money to keep the family afloat these days.
Raising a large family is rough, lots of sacrifices, trials and mistakes.
One of life's major mistakes is being the last member in the family to
get the flu-after all the sympathy has run out. Then you have the
problem of authority. There is just as much authority in today's families
as in the past, only now the children exercise it. I used to see it way
back when I still had the shoe store. Mom would bring in her little girl
accompanied by Grandma. Mom had definite ideas as to what the
child was to have and Grandma had her thoughts. The little girl also
had hers. After a great deal of time spent the little girl would win out.
Mom would say, " I'll let you have what you want this time but next time
I'll do the choosing." She was just blowing smoke as next time it would
be the same thing all over. Grandma was unhappy because they didn't
buy what she thought the girl ought to have, Mom was unhappy as she
didn't get her way, but the little girl was as happy as a possum in a
tater patch or a bandit in a bank vault. It is no wonder I had a heart
attack at 45 years of age.
When I was growing up people used to worry about finances and
keeping the wolf away from the door. Modern families don't seem
to worry about the wolf at the door anymore. They just feed him on
installments. It is just not the same.The trouble with some families
today is that they have Cadillac tastes and compact incomes. It takes
a lot of money to raise and educate children. I do think that the
American family and the United States government are in agreement
about one thing-neither of them can live within their budget.
I have presented family life in the negative. We laugh at the negative
and rejoice in the positive. For most families the privilege of being
together, the love, one for another, the joys shared and the many other
things that act as a mortar to bond each member together, far out-
weigh the trials and tribulations.
Having children is great as they give you grandchildren and that is
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