My Family When I think of my family, I am reminded of the way that we were raised to recognize the authority of all our elders as that of our parents rather than having the demarcation of someone being an aunt or uncle and therefore having less authority to enact discipline among the younger generation…
My grandparents, we called them “mama” and “papa” respectively. We respected them because of their wisdom and feared them because of their ages. Our own parents made sure that the value of respect for the elders, specially the heads of the family, was instilled into our minds at an early age. This meant that even if we could reason out and discuss with our parents when something was not going our way, we were not given the same liberties by our parents when our grandparents were the ones in charge of us. We had to follow their orders without question or pause. The area where we grew up was unique because we had both the comforts of the city, and the quiet existence of a farm life where we lived. The town proper and the malls were easily accessible to us while the area where we lived still housed goats and cows, a backyard industry of the residents of our area. In a way, I grew up in what others might consider to be strange surroundings, but was perfect normal for me. Our family lived closer to the city proper while the other members of our family lived no further than 15 minutes away from us by car ride. So we were constantly having family gatherings and the kids grew up as playmates and best friends. I guess that is what makes my family unique. Even if we have few friends outside of our family circle, we never feel like we need more because everyone in our family is a friend to one another. We stick up for each other in much the same way that our parents and grandparents do when the need arises. One of my favorite memories from my childhood was when I was little and just about to start school. There were about 3 of us who were close in age who were also about to start school and that particular summer was the season that the older cousins got to teach us about how to survive in school. Somehow, I did not feel afraid about starting school because I knew that my siblings and cousins would also be in the same school. So I did not have to fear being alone, friendless, or bullied. I was right. When school started, we looked like a mafia family as the older relatives made sure that the younger ones made it to school on time, got into the right classes, and had someone to hang out with during breaks. Nobody dared mess with us. Our family took up a whole table to ourselves during lunch break and we always did what our parents told us to do, avoid trouble in school by sticking together. The only time we were separated from each other was when we finally had to report to class. When school was over, we would meet up at the front gate of the school and head on home by school bus, still all together. Those were some of the most fun times I had as a child. i enjoyed going to school because it was a way that I could always hang out with my cousins and vice versa. We lived for the school days and the weekends. Our parents found this puzzling at first but then came to realize that we were truly each other's best friend so our desire to constantly be together was understandable and encouraged. After all, our parents believed that having each other as best friends meant that we would be free from trouble anywhere we went. It was because we cousins were inseparable that it became harder and harder for us to shop for holiday gifts for one another. Somehow we already knew who got what for whom and yet we still managed to act surprised when we would open our grits on Christmas Day. Christmas, now that day ...
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