Tuesday, September 8, 2009

By hook or by crook.

That is what my Dad used to say.
I think it is pretty self explanatory but let me elaborate.

We didn't have a perfect life.
It was tough.

We grew up on a farm and lived off the land so to speak.
To small children, it was fun.

We moved to Canada's Capital when I was 10 or so.
We were excited but too young to know the real reasons why.

We lived with my mom's parents for a couple of months.
It was cramped.

We finally moved to a one bedroom apartment.
It also was cramped.

We changed apartments in the same building till we finally all had our own rooms.
That was bliss.

My Dad worked odd jobs, including that of a janitor of a bar.
Incidentally I would frequent that club as a teen.

We moved to a house on a suburban street.
Still no shared rooms.

Dad was working a steadier job.
We started to accumulate "things".

But I knew it took allot to get there.
I knew that it wasn't easy.
I also had figured out what Dad had meant when he said his family would never live in "low rentals".
He provided.
By hook or by crook.

I didn't ask questions.
I still don't.
Because he did the best he could for our family.
And I love him and always will.

Our family didn't make it.
Dad's boozing finally took it's toll on my Mom.
Suddenly our family of 5 was no more.
That is a tough thing to go through as a teen.
But we made do.

Mom worked 2 jobs to provide for her three kids.
We left our home in the burbs and moved into another apartment.
We were back to sharing rooms.

My mom worked hard.
And by hard I mean HARD.

There are very little people in this world whose morals and values I try to exemplify.
I live each day trying to be the good person she is.

I know she cried when she couldn't buy us all the things she wanted to.
But I know she tried.
And I also know that because she did such a great job raising us, that we never balked at what we didn't have.
Rather, we jumped for joy when she bought us the cool clothes we so desperately wanted.
And to this day I still covet those little wooden dolls she made me for Christmas one year.

I can't describe what it is like to feel so miss placed because you don't have what others have.
But I can tell you I was loved.
And she did her best.
But not by hook, nor by crook.

I quickly learned that if I wanted something,
it would be up to me to get it.
I got a job and I worked.
I bought things.
A walkman, tapes, penny loafers, brand name jeans.....
You name it I bought it.
I wasn't big on saving.
I wanted things.
I wanted to fit in.
My best purchase was a pair of purple NAF NAF jeans that had flowers of yellow and pink all over them.


That was allot in 1990.
But man they were cool.
And I felt so cool wearing those to the club and dancing high on the risers to the likes of Janet Jackson, Madonna, Vanilla Ice.


I learned some hard lessons during my teenage years.
Someday I will share,
But today, almost 20 years later I am still so ashamed of who I was, what I did.
The expression "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree" comes to mind.

But luckily for me, I made it.
And I try hard every day to be a good person.
To be someone who my children will always be proud of.

My children don't need.

I have spent the last two days organizing their closet.
4 loads of laundry and several shopping trips later I can only repeat myself.

My children don't need.

M has 32 tops so far for the fall and winter.

J has close to 40 outfits ranging from size 3 months to 18 months.

In my defence, allot of M's are hand me downs from my Sister.
I'm not proud, I will accept them.
Especially since most of them are Gymboree, Gap and TCP.
Old habits die hard.....

And J is growing like a bad weed, he will need allot from now until April.
Really...he will.....

My children don't need.

They have oodles of toys to play with everyday.
Again hand me downs.
But they don't know the difference.
And If I do a good job parenting them they will grow up thankful for all they had.

My children don't need.

They spend hours outside playing in the "fresh" air, going for walks, spending time with family who love them.

My children don't need.

Tonight when I put them to bed, I thought about how lucky they were.
They would grow up with parents who were home owners.
They would more likely than not, go to University.
They would wear cool clothes.
They would be provide for to the best of our capabilities.

And I would do it,
Neither by hook, nor by crook.

And then I thought about how lucky I was.


  1. I found this difficult to read. I'm tired, overworked, and it made me cry. I figured out why I forget so many things from childhood. I BLOCK THEM. Children are not always a product of their parent/s. I think that we are examples of both what not to be and what TO be.

    And yes, they don't need. Nither do mine, as I added yet another new shirt to Q's stock pile for fall/winter. Hey it was only 12 $ and Gymboree. O.k. I have a problem. "Hello My Name is Sam And I'm a shopaholic." LOL.

  2. You said it well..what to be and what not to be...love it.
    FYI...my name is Jen and I am also a shopaholic. I will be making a trip tp Gymboree at Bayshore tomorrow to exchange that top.....Lets hope I make it out alive!

  3. Oh and BTW looking forward to adding that new shirt YOU bought to my collection next year...lol

  4. ButifullJennifer you coudn`t of said it better.Choked me up a littel.LOVE you lots.XO