While growing up my parents always tried to instill certain lessons, did any of them stick? Eh. I guess you can say some of them did. I never saw them as lessons until I got older. Now I hear myself repeating the same things to my younger siblings.. Yes, I know. I’m that annoying “Mom Sibling” they can’t get rid of. There have also been times where I’m having a moment & they teach me. Crazy right?!
None of these lessons struck a cord in me right away though. They took time & of course I had to learn on my own. With all the mistakes I’ve made, it’s also made me who I am while teaching me the biggest lesson of all; to always love & appreciate my parents. So here we go…
- The only man I can truly depend on is my Dad.
My Dad has shown me time & time again how I should be treated by setting an amazing example throughout the years of how he treats our family. Especially the women in our family & I’ll always be grateful. One day it just clicked,
“My dad doesn’t treat my mom, my sister or my aunts this way. Sure as hell doesn’t treat any women in our family this way… So why the fuck am I taking this crap?”
That was all it took. The lesson stuck & I can tell you the exact moment that it happened… but we’ll save that for a story time post. 🙂
- Acquire some sort of skills to support yourself.
Thank goodness my Dad has always been able to provide for all of us, but my mom has felt guilty at times when it comes to spending. One thing I’ve learned from my Mom is to always have some sort of income for yourself.
When I was younger (& even now) she would babysits kids, or bake cakes, have yard sales, anything of the sort to make a few extra bucks. Not that we needed it, but it was her way of getting her own spending money. That way it was never a question of, “Let me call your Dad to see if I can buy this” sort of thing. If it was something she wanted & she had the money for it, she bought it without question.
Not that my Dad would ever say no to her, my Mom till this day gets whatever her heart desires. Just ask her! (Actually if you ask her right now, she’ll say she still hasn’t gotten her red Shelby Cobra but my Dad is working on it.) It was her own way of being independent, as much as she always says,
“You have to find someone to take care of you.”
She also says,
“You don’t need anybody, you can take care of yourself.”
I know, a bit confusing right? I fully understand what she’s trying to say though. She doesn’t want to have to worry about someone not being able to take care of me, & in case that happens she still doesn’t have to worry because I got me. 🙂
- Always buy the extra warranty!!
I’m just going to toot my own horn here & say we are good kids. We always took care of our stuff because we new we wouldn’t be getting another one. It also had nothing to do with the bit of fear we had whenever we happened to drop our expensive devices & got the look from him either. Hehe.
The warranty is the safety net my Dad always fell back on in case we did happen to drop our Gameboy or crack our iPod screen. Life happens & if anyone wanted to be prepared for it, my dad was.
When I bought my car, I got the warranty. My phone, laptop, computer, camera, all have warranty. If he could, he’d get warranty on the air we breathe. If I’m purchasing something best believe I’ll be getting a warranty along with it. Not only because it’s what I’ve learned, but because of the disappointed look I got that one time I didn’t purchase it.. *cringe*
I never want to get that look from him again.
- Have good comebacks & thick skin.
If you’ve ever met my parents they’re pretty chill. They can take a joke here & there but be prepared because once you’ve crossed that line they won’t hold back at all.
My parents love to cap on each other & when you grow up with 5 siblings that all inherited those genes… Well, you’re pretty much screwed. You have no time to be sensitive or hold back.
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had friends over & my Mom has made jokes that were out of line & made me turn so red!
My Dad will joke with you until he sees that you can’t take it. Even then he might make at least one more to see if you’ll let it go or not.
Growing up in a household like this has taught me how to break the ice when meeting new people, be quick (most of the time) with smart ass remarks, & most importantly, how to take a joke. 🙂
This is how that conversation would go…
Me: Can I go out tonight? There’s a party in town.
Mom: It’s cloudy, you know it’s going to rain. You can ask your Dad but you already know what he’s going to say.
*Goes to ask Dad*
Dad: Mija it’s raining. Just stay home. The streets are all wet, it’s going to get flooded. Stay home with us.
My siblings & I would always joke about our parents not wanting us to “float away” in the car while it rained. Of course we know the rain only makes them worry about us more, but it’s still a good joke to make.
They have thick skin too so don’t worry.
- Never buy anything used.
“You’ll know for sure it works if you get it new.”
“You won’t have to worry if you get it new.”
“Only $50 (or however much) more & you can get a new one!”
“Why would you want something that someone already used? Just get it new.”
“If you get it new you can get the warranty with it.”
I.e. When I entered college & needed a car, I looked for used ones. Why? Because who I was dating at the time told me to do so, we found a few cars that I thought were decent. Took my Dad to look at them & he wasn’t pleased at all.
I gave up. Time passed, I broke up with that person, & that was all it took. About 2 weeks after the break up my Dad helped me get a new car. That was what he was waiting for initially.
“I wasn’t going to get you a piece of crap so you can be driving him around in it. This car is yours, for you, not for your friends or some idiot. With this car I don’t have to worry about you because it’s new. Plus it has a warranty.”
That’s pretty much how that conversation went. Except I cleaned up the words he used a bit.. Okay, I cleaned it up a lot. Hehe.
Your siblings will always be there for you.
Whenever we’d get into an argument we’d always hear,
“Don’t talk to your brother/sister like that! C’mon. That’s so messed up. That’s your brother/sister. You don’t ever treat them like that.”
It was never anything bad, but there was a lecture here & there about respecting each other. Both my parents are close to their siblings & I hope that as we grow up we continue to stay as close.
The relationship with my siblings is something I’ll never have to question. They’ve shown me at my lowest that it will always get better. Always. There are some things that I’ve never talked to friends about, & because of that my siblings know me better than anyone else.
I know that the people who will do their best to rescue me, (& I them) with no judgment are my siblings. We argue, we disagree on a lot of things but at the end of the day we love each other.
I talk to all my siblings daily, we’re all busy with work, our own lives, school & such but we constantly talk via a group chat. It’s how we keep in touch, roast each other, & always know what’s going on good or bad.
- Never arrive anywhere empty handed.
My Dad said, “Mija you’re going to eat right? So you always want to take stuff that way you know that there’s enough for everyone. It’s always better to have extra.”
I never thought it about that way, & even now when I go anywhere I apply that thought. Whether it’s a bottle of tequila or a bag of chips, I always try to bring something or at least pitch in. 🙂
Get a good job that has benefits.
I think I can speak on their behalf when I say the proudest they’ve ever felt of me is when I was working for the city. It was a good job, nice benefits, basically they felt like they were done raising me & I was going to be good for life…
It’s something they still tell me & my siblings till this day. They don’t really see how a career in pushing buttons, writing, or talking into a microphone can be stable. A lot of the times it might not be, but I have to give it a shot. That is one lesson they wish would stick with me forever, & it has.. I just haven’t listened to it yet. Hehe.