Composure…or Lack Thereof

Being able to laugh at things is a great way for people to smooth the sometimes bumpy roads that they may come across in their respective lives. Now a grown man, my parents taught all of my brothers and sisters and I how to act and how to react properly to situations that might otherwise provoke uncontrollable laughter. In other words, they taught us how to have composure, at least most of the time.

Though it was important to be taught how to keep our true emotions or reactions to things in check when it was necessary well, we’re only human, so occasional breakdowns in manners and composure, though they weren’t welcomed, were bound to happen. And they did.

I will begin with a recollection from my oldest brother. In the first one story,  Owen recalled a story about our dad. ” It was winter and the front porch was frozen,” he began. “We were getting ready to leave for church and, as we headed down the front porch, which was frozen, dad slipped and went down like a ton of bricks, boom, boom, boom, one step at a time.

As if falling down the stairs wasn’t bad enough, this happened on Christmas Day.

Continuing his story, Owen said,

” Many of of us(kids) had seen this, so our ride to church was real quiet. When we got to the St. Francis(of Assisi) church parking lot and had parked when one of us said, ‘Watch your step,’ at which time we all began laughing, including dad.” Despite the laughter, we we never got in trouble because, as I said, dad laughed along with us. Thanks Dad.


The next memory came from another brother, Steve. “Speaking of church and laughing, I got booted off my Little League team for screwing around in church. We(at school) used to go to church on holy days and, one time, I didn’t know that mom and dad were going. During Communion, dad walks by and just glares at me(I could see it now). That was it. Ouch!” Steve didn’t go into detail about what he was doing, but my bet would be that he was laughing, talking or doing some other childish thing.

Due to the fact that our parents were so awesome, the punishments that any one of us received were never too harsh. Somehow, someway, our dear parents taught each one of us the proper way to be a good person.

Another sister, Sheila told me about one of our other brothers, Kevin was apparently a bit of a hell-raiser as a kid.  “I remember times when mom would send him upstairs  for doing something that angered her and he would sneak out one of the windows(in the boys bedroom) on to the roof that covered our front porch and then shimmy down one of the poles that ran down to the porch. What a character!”

This is just a small sample of what life was sometimes like in our house, but I wouldn’t trade my childhood with anyone. We were a happy group and it  showed.


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