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Thanks, Mom and Dad

My mom once joked that I make her look like my enemy on my blog. The force that I rebelled against as a youngster was my parents, so they get painted as the opposition sometimes. I'm proud of this rebellious streak, and attribute some of my success to it, but also know that I  would have none of what I have if it wasn't for them.

Even ignoring the all-trumping donation of their genetic material, my parents, along with the rest of my family, are unquestionably the biggest positive force in my life. Although it doesn't usually make it into sappy blog posts like this one, the truth is that every single day, I think about how incredibly lucky I am to have such incredible parents. If I dwell on the thought too long, I find myself fighting back tears of gratitude.

As someone who enjoys a huge degree of personal freedom, I am only now beginning to be able to comprehend the sacrifices that my parents have made for me. I was a difficult child even before I was born, giving my mother 36 hours of labor before finally popping out into the world. From that time until long after I left the house, she and my father put my needs above their own. It's fair to say that for most or all of that time, I didn't realize how profound this sacrifice was, let alone acknowledge it.

I ate packaged pastries right out of the trash can behind the day old bread store.

On Chris Scheidies

Seriously…so did most of my friends. We all grew up with very limited resources. Not to say it was all bad. My mom was handicapped and my dad had a pretty good job as a counselor for juveniles with the state. Money we didn’t have a lot of. And I mean it, many times the fridge was empty and we had to wait for a paycheck to get more food. My parents are far too proud to get help from the government. We never starved and did have something every meal but it was often close. I was luckier than most of my friends growing up. Most of them lived with step parents or even grandma, and many of the kids I grew up with ended up in jail. But ya, so when you can never afford the snacks that all the rich kids could, you take advantage of the situation. All we did everyday in the summer was walk around or ride our bikes. So when we walked behind the factory outlet bread store and found a bunch of fully wrapped pastries thrown away I think we each had at least four or five.

I know what you are thinking, but don’t judge. They were delicious! Come on they had only been expired a few days….whatever! I am not sure what this story means. Maybe that’s where I got my do more with less attitude. I don’t know. But I know this, when you grow up with no resources you see opportunities where other don’t. When you struggle a little it gives you compassion. Or maybe it doesn’t. Plenty of my friends from back in the day are pretty cold to the rest of the world. But let me tell you firsthand that the middle class is shrinking.

I have no moral lesson to this, I just find it interesting. The more I think about my childhood the more I realize how strange it was……and you can bet we often checked back to see what else the bread store would throw out.

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