I am very honored to be working with Hallmark as a Life is a Special Occasion featured blogger and for their sponsoring this blog post, allowing me to share personal stories, insights and inspirations in enjoying simple, every day moments, with you (yes, YOU!)
I don't have a lot of memorable experiences from my early years in grade school that I would consider a happy part of my childhood. It was around the time I entered the 2nd grade (pictured above) when the realization hit me like a ton of concrete railroad ties: we lived on the wrong side of the tracks and I hated it.
My father and mother immigrated from Hungary to the U.S. in 1956, at a time when bigotry and racism pretty much ruled the earth or at least our little corner of New Jersey, about a 20 minute bus ride to Port Elizabeth in Newark.
My mother was enrolled into high school and joined the rest of her "English-speaking" 9th grade class, without any consideration or special privileges, and was instructed to simply "catch up".
My father learned English from watching television shows like Bonanza and Gunsmoke (cowboys were big in Hungary, too) and he still speaks with a very heavy accent, which my kids happen to think is "totally cool!"
"Papa sounds JUST like the Count on Sesame Street!"
Me, not so much.
I'm ashamed to admit that, once I entered elementary school, I was embarrassed by my ethnic-sounding family name: Katkics, pronounced Cut-Keech.
The kids teased me and my twin brother and would call us Click-Clacks (like, the ankle-breaking jumping game) and Kit Kats (my favorite chocolate bar, still) not even the smallest percentage of as bad as Catsh*t.
I would like to think that times have changed, as well. I would like to believe that, like me, my classmates have since grown up, matured (mostly) and are raising their families a little wiser, with an extra helping of compassion, for good measure.
In fact, we've since reconnected and I am now friends with a majority of them thanks to Facebook.
It is unfortunate that my children still come home from school with stories of how their friends think anything other kids wear/see/say/or do differently is weird and...man-oh-man...do I get it!
I remember striving to be like everyone else and often times find myself fingering the scars of my youth wondering: if it weren't for Kit Kats and Click-Clacks, would I be the mother I am today?
The answer is simple. No. I mean, YES! D'oh, I also hated math in school and parenting has NOT gotten any easier for me either. However, you see those 4 kids up there? They are ALL mine and...MAN-OH-MAN...we've grown up A LOT together and yet I strive to be MORE like them...each and every day.
Some things never change and, well, that is a very good thing indeed...right?!?
© 2003 - 2012 This Full House
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