As I sit quietly in my room every day after the daily argument I had with my older sister after school, I wonder what has gone wrong with my family. Why are we not like the ones I see on television? Does the perfect family truly exist or is it a myth the media wants us to believe to get us to behave, like Santa to a young child who wishes for treats and fun surprises at the end of a good year?
I moved around a lot while I was growing up. After moving seven times before I reached the third grade I came to realize that my only friends that I could keep forever would be my siblings. My parents were searching to find a place to call home. They wanted to find a home in a town where they could feel normal. They wanted a town where our families abnormalities wouldn’t be frowned at and where they could try to move past their troubled past.
I was born into a family with pre-written troubles. On February 14th, 1986 the back passenger side of my grandmother’s car was struck by the hay truck. My father’s only child, Heather was in that seat. There was nothing that anyone could do to save her. She was only 18 months old. My Dad showed up at the scene of the accident just in time to hold her in his arms one last time and say goodbye. My father didn’t think his life could ever be the same. He had an empty void in his life that he didn’t think could ever be filled.
My mother grew up in a troubled family. At fourteen years old she was emancipated and had custody of her four younger siblings. At sixteen years old my mother got pregnant with my older sister Cassondra. My mom worked two full time jobs trying to support her family all on her own but she could hardly make enough to put food on the table for her growing family.
About a year later my parents got married. Over the next six years my parents would welcome two more children into the world. In 1992, I was born and then in 1995, my little brother Brandon was born. With there being so many children in our household it was very hard for my parents to have enough money to provide the necessities for our growing family.
Similar to Gary Soto’s Story, “Looking for Work”, there is a young boy who tries his best to make his family look like the mythic families he had been seeing on television. He was shown over and over again the importance of economic status, and wealth in order to have a successful family in other people’s eyes. I relate to this story because I grew up in an economically challenged family similar to what he grew up in. (Soto 27-30) In the story, Gary would go door to door looking for work to bring money into his household. This is similar to when I was about seven or eight years old I would go to each of my neighbor’s houses and paint their fences to get extra money to use for things I wanted or needed.
While growing up I was shown multiple examples of what a family is supposed to look like. I was shown these through different types of media. I would watch television shows where families would always get along and the whole family would go on trips together. The family members would always look nice, and smile and laugh every day. I was shown magazines where people would be in front of their huge houses and they would have brand new cars.
When I was seven years old I asked my father what was wrong with our…