This will be the first story about a family of children who were just that, a family. No half no step no color no nationality, just a family.
There are four children in our family. The oldest, Lizzy and for clarity of picture, her mother is white and her father is black. The second child born in our family from the same mother and father is Henry. Henry is 11 months and two weeks younger than Lizzy. So for two weeks out of the year, they are the same age.
When Lizzy and Henry were seven and eight years old, there mother gave birth to twins. The twins, Joseph and Michael, had a different father and once again for the purpose of clarity of picture, he was white.
So there you have it. Four children and two absent fathers. To complete this family unit, mother’s father lived with our family.
As we begin our story, Lizzy is thirteen and Henry is 12. The twins are five.
Lizzy was angry at the world. There were too many men in lizzy's house and she didn’t like cleaning up after any of them.
Lizzy always felt she was cleaning up after everyone else when she was told to do chores. She was too busy stewing in her own wake to realize that everyone had chores as well. Things were getting done on chore day but not Lizzy's chores. She was always mad about one thing or another. She hated life right now and was not afraid to tell people what she thought.” Of course you are dear”, her mother would say, “You are thirteen”. Everyone is unhappy at thirteen. But lizzy just rolled her eyes with disgust and let out a deep long irritated grown. She felt put upon to help with house work or clean up any mess.
Lizzy was always unhappy these days. She especially wasn't happy about the choice her mother made in a new step father image. They weren't married so she couldn't really call him a step father. But all the same he had taken charge and she did not like it or him at all.
Lizzy had three brothers a grandfather, a step father, a mother but no sisters. She was the oldest child in her family and spent a lot of time taking care of younger boys and being left in charge. Probably not the best decision her mother could have made but it was what it was. She just needed to make the most out of it now.
Henry, Lizzy's brother from the same father was a bit eccentric. From a very early age Henry wanted to know how everything worked. By the age of seven, his grandmother had successfully given him his own lawn mower, very large projectors, several bicycles and whatever else she could pick up cheap at yard sales, just so Henry had something to take apart. He was good at it too. There were pieces of small machinery stuff big and little all over our yard! From screws and washers to pipes and glass.
Henry was always tapping to music and very well I might add. So by the time he was four, Henry was given drum lessons. By the time he was eight he was in the school band.
Henry had a severe learning disability called dyslexia. Everything got all jammed up inside him and came out weird. So to compensate for much of this trouble, Henry was aloud his idiosyncrasies. He loved to draw. It was a good tool in helping him process the information during school. But it became an obsession. Henry would draw for hours and hours. While he watched TV or at school. He would sit in his room for endless hours listening to music and drawing.
When Henry was about twelve, he was given an airbrush. His room would never be the same. He would airbrush over a sheet on the floor even though he was forbidden to do it in the house, he would still follow the heart of the artist and not the parent. That leads me to tell you about his room. Or should I say the bores din. Henry absolutely hated and when I say hated, I mean hate in the worst possible way, for anyone to clean his room or make his bed. There would be a third world war if you tried to change his sheets. Oh, what a fiasco that would be.
One day mother walked by Henry's room and the door was left open. The smell rippled across her nose and mother stopped. "Oh my gosh! what is that smell?" mother spewed through pursed lips and scrunched eyes and wrinkled nose. It was then I heard my mother without provocation loud and clear." HENRY WAYNE CLARK! THIS ROOM IS GROSS!!!! That’s it!!!! “Mother fumed. “I have had enough of this!!! " So into Henry's mess my mother plowed and stripped his bed and ran to the wash room to extinguish the piercing oder emanating from Henry's sheets, It was anybody’s guess how long it had been sense they're last washing.
Each one of us had our own laundry schedule for washer use. We were responsible for our own laundry and washing of our bedding once a week. Henry drifted through the cracks of mother’s busy schedule somehow and she didn't catch his room. Like always, Henry was given a little extra slack because of his uniqueness.
When Henry arrived home from school that day to find his room completely sterile and bed fresh and new, the proverbial shit hit the fan. Henry's voice now deep from the transition through puberty was blasting the walls with earth shattering sounds of violation. "WHO WAS IN MY ROOM AND MESSED WITH MY THINGS!!!!!!!!!" Mother came around the corner and said without intimidation," I DID! Henry your room was a disgrace! I don't want to tell you what can grow in that mess you called a bed! How long had it been since you washed those sheets?!!!!" Mother yelled." I JUST HAD MY BED HOW I WANTED IT!!!!!! IT WAS JUST GETTING COMFORTABLE AND NOW YOU MESSED IT UP!!!!!!!! “Henry stormed.” I don't care Henry! You will keep those sheets washed once a week and this room clean. I will be checking from now on." Henry was not happy. He fumed in his room and slammed the door. He stayed in his room until supper and didn't talk to anyone. Shortly thereafter, there was a big sign taped to Henry's door specifying that no one would be allowed in his room or there would be consequences’. But as per always, food could sooth the savaged beast. Dinner was served and little by little, Henry calmed down but never forgot what he felt was a violation.