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Posts Tagged ‘family’

Steven

April 27, 2006 Leave a comment

This story takes place over ten years ago and so some of the details have gotten hazy with age. Perhaps after reading this, my brother can offer some additional insight.

During my freshman year of high school I attended a private Christian school. That same year, my younger brother Daniel was in seventh grade and attended a private Lutheran school. My parents were still together and I regularly attended a youth group called “Highlife” that was closely affiliated with my school.

For those that are completely unaware or only partially familiar, the youth group that I attended involved singing upbeat songs (similar to those sang in Church, but not hymns), playing some sort of group game, small group activity and discussion, and a message (like a sermon). It was a place to have fun with fellow Christian teens and learn something extra about God that I had not already learned from school, church, parents, or elsewhere. Although the “God stuff” was great, most of us simply saw it as an excuse to hang out with friends on a Wednesday night.

My mom shifted jobs a lot, but, at the time of this story, had been renting an office space inside of a local carpet store where she could run her interior design business. The owner of the carpet store was divorced, his ex-wife lived in Los Angeles somewhere, and they had joint custody of a teenage boy named Steven. The owner was so busy with his work that he seldom had time to be with his son.

Apparently, there were some parental issues at Steven’s mom’s place too because Steven had gotten himself involved in gangs. I had seen movies like “Colors” and “Boys in the Hood”, but I knew enough at the time to know that I knew nothing. To this day, I still don’t really understand what it means to be in a gang. I am not sure exactly how it came about, but somehow every parent involved decided that it would be a good idea for Steven to live with us for a week or so and share a room with my brother and me! I have already told you about the differences between Steven and my brother and I. It was like the pilgrims coming to America and meeting the “Indians”. We were from completely different worlds and neither understood the other. Read more…

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Categories: Snapshots of Me Tags: , ,

Letting Go

April 8, 2006 Leave a comment

My parents have raised my brothers and I to be independent people. That was somewhat intentional but also somewhat unavoidable. Although both of my parents had jobs, our family had very little money. That meant that they could hardly afford a sitter but also couldn’t be home with us themselves. That left my brothers and I lots of time to roam the neighborhood and get into all sorts of trouble. We were allowed to make our own mistakes and were forced to deal with the consequences on our own.

By independent, I do not mean that I do not rely on other people. I mean that I can make do on my own and adjust to new situations better than many people I know. However, I am aware of my own limitations as well as my desire to connect with other people.

I moved to Orange County nearly two years ago. Prior to the move, I had been married for quite a while and had allowed many relationships to drift away so that I could focus on my family. I did maintain a handful of friendships but made no effort to create new ones. When I moved to OC, I was suddenly without my friends and shortly thereafter was without my wife. That made my two kids my new best friends. I am still re-learning how to make new friends and have actually made a stronger effort to stay in touch with some of my long-distance friends but, for the most part, have been content to just spend as much quality time with my kids as possible. Read more…

Categories: Snapshots of Me Tags: , , ,

What a Ride!

October 5, 2005 Leave a comment

I worked too many hours last week and every week before that for several months, so this Sunday night I decided to take it easy this week. On Monday morning I took my son Josh to school as usual then dropped off his sister Jordan in Huntington Beach. I live in northeastern Irvine and it was Monday morning so Jordan and I were in the car together for at least 20 minutes. I have talked to both of my kids since the day they were each born as though they understood every word. Jordan is two and does not understand a lot but I’d still say that she is a great conversationalist. As soon as I got back into my car to head to work in southern Irvine I missed her. I went to say something to her then quickly realized that she was not there. I was sad the rest of the way to work.

I arrived at work and proceeded to… um… work. At around 2 pm, I got a call from Joshua’s school. Apparently, his school had a shortened day that week and they had been unsuccessful in reaching his mom. So, I told my boss what I was doing and headed out. On the way to pick him up it occurred to me that I wanted a short week anyway and Josh has been begging me for months to take him to Disneyland without his sister so that he and I could go on all of the big rides. I called my work and his mom to verify that it would be cool and then I went and picked him up, but I did not tell him my plans. I convinced him to change into cooler clothes and to eat a snack before we left the apartment. He had no clue what we were doing until the moment we got off at the oh-so-familiar freeway exit in Anaheim. HE GOT SO EXCITED! We had a great time. We went on all of the coasters at Disneyland (not California Adventure) plus Indian Jones, the recently remodeled haunted house, and Splash Mountain. Our favorite by far was Space Mountain! I scared him so much before getting on Indiana Jones that he would not open his eyes for fear that looking at the “idol” would kill him. Bad, bad daddy! Fortunately, he enjoyed the ride anyway. By the end of the night, he was raising his arms in the air on Big Thunder Mountain and Space Mountain and bragging to everyone he could.

Tuesday was nearly as exciting but the Angels have just tied the Yankees at two runs apiece so I need to get of this darned electronic glowing device… and go watch a different one.