Bad Parenting 101

I don’t say this to evoke pity. Please don’t read it in a melodramatic tone in your head, or season it with melancholy. Think matter-of-fact. It is what it is.

I was a bit of an accident.

I asked my mother about it, once, and she paused for an uncomfortable moment before responding. “Honey, by the time you showed up, we were so happy to see you.”

Even as a child, I knew what that meant. That explained the six years between my sister and me. It explained why nine years separated me from one brother, and twelve from the other. It explained why I often felt like a child in a roomful of adults, and why, for many years, the taller people in the house took some precedence. It wasn’t all bad, though. In general, they also took the heat and the blame.

When we were all at home…

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