Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

When I was growing up

There are some things I wish I had known back then.

First and foremost, I would have raised my children in a small town. We started our familiy out in a small town -- Fanwood, NJ -- and I loved it. I could walk the children, one in a coach, two walking slowly, all around, and we could window shop. I could walk to a butcher. The children enjoyed the life as well because it wasn't really much different from what I knew from growing up in Runnemede, NJ.

At Christmas there was the requisite Santa at the town hall, a.k.a. the fire station. This particular town (Fanwood) had a train station and trains went through often on their way to and from New York City. I wish I had known then that the small town was the best place in the whole world to live.

Second, I would have found a SMALL church. We always gravitated toward medium sized churches which were nice. I mean we made friends, but didn't get to know everyone. And the preaching, sorry to say, was generic, with the pastors trying to reach the middle group with touchy-feely sermons, not trying to push the Word of God on the people who listened to him.
In the church in Runnemede, the preacher (my father) didn't mince words about the Bible. It was the text, and if the passage talked about Hell and how awful it was, dad didn't downplay it or term it as allegorical. I should have learned this (known this) from the training I received in Runnemede. Get the picture?

I wish I would have known to tell my mom and dad that I loved them more often. We were not huggers in our house, and I would have hugged them more. I also would have been less selfish as a teenager and helped my mother more around the house.

I guess the item highest on the list of things I wish I had know is that children mimic their parents. And I often said to my mother, "I'm never going to be the kind of mother you are." Or, "I'm never going to do that to my children."

Guess what? I am my mother. I exactly mimicked my mother's mothering style, her cooking style, her cleaning style, her discipline style, etc.

I wish I had know then that I would become my mother. I would have observed her better and more lovingly. Boy, I miss my mom.


1 comment:

Rose said...

I miss her, too. She was amazing.
I wish I would have gotten my mom's cleaning style. She makes it look so simple.
You guys weren't huggers? Mom is SUCH a hugger. She was all the time squeezing us to pieces and I'm glad that I got that to pass on. My husband's family weren't huggers until I came along (according to him, anyway) now they hug as much as we do. I'm glad for family affection and tenderness. I'd be sooo lonesome without it.
And now since Mommy is little and I'm big, now my brothers and I squish her to pieces. Hugs and smooches.
And I agree with you about small towns, though I think I'm more like a village-with-surrounding-farms-type. I don't think the place exists anymore- leastwise not until the milennial kingdom. I'm just glad that after so much searching God's helped us to find a small church again that's standing on His Word. They're not huggers- yet- but they seem to love Him and are old fashioned: they use the KJV and believe it, the women all wear skirts or dresses still, and the hymns are ones I heard in your Dad's church when I was little.
I miss you!!
Have a good week