This I Believe

Monika - Cambridge, Minnesota
Entered on July 9, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family, integrity
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It’s time to face the truth: I have a preoccupation with my family. Some would go so far as to call it an obsession – to which I would not disagree. One of my favorite topics of conversation is my family; I adore telling stories about my mom, my dad, my sister, and my brother. Indeed, a large majority of my essays for school are about them.

I feel this way because my family has had a deep, ineffable impact on my very existence and this, I believe.

I grew up in a household full of what could be called “tough love.” I’m the youngest of three kids, so I’m willing to admit the possibility that I experienced less toughness and more love. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why I started stealing money from my sister’s little toy bank. It began with just a quarter here and there but quickly became the snatching of a dollar or more whenever my sister wasn’t in our room. Again and again she accused me of the act, but every time I denied it with an air of insult. But it wasn’t until a few years later that my parents eventually put their foot down. I remember the horror of being called to their room for a “serious talk.” There they lectured me and tried to make me understand how wrong it was to lie. Needless to say, I ended up in tears, deeply affected by their impassioned words.

On the less serious side, there is no doubt in my mind that my family taught me to laugh. I have a quick temper and can be easily angered when dealing with certain family members. But then my sister makes a stupid joke or my brother says something unbelievably witty and my fury is instantly forgotten. I laugh more with my family then I do most any where else.

So yes, here is another one of those essays about my family. Perhaps it just goes to show the depth of the impact this has had on my life. If my parents hadn’t exercised their “tough love,” I might’ve turned out to be a manipulative liar. And I consider one of my greatest blessings to be the sense of humor I developed in their company. My family has been the one thing I’ve always known; one of my few constants in this frightening, ever-changing world: I can hardly be blamed for my obsession.