Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Look Back: The Life of Daniel F. Ford
Chapter 7: Family Life

I combed through my personal archives to get a sense of the person I was in order to understand the person I am. I unearthed an autobiography I was assigned to write in the 8th grade. For the next several weeks, I’ll be publishing each chapter of the book.

Now that I’ve described my family, I can now describe how my family’s life is.

The Ford Family on July 3, 2011
I would describe my family as a strong, loving family who cares for one another. We are a calm and quiet family (editorial note: at no point in our family’s history has this ever been true) who doesn’t butt into anybody else’s business—unless it has something to do with us. What makes my family special is that we stand up for each other. Some other family’s are like a deck of cards—you take one down and the rest follow. Do you think that my family is like that? No. I’m not saying my family is perfect, because nobody’s family is. I just think we handle problems better than most family’s do.

I would not survive if I had to live without my mother or father. Speaking of my father, he gave my brothers and me the nickname Bubble Butt. He says he got it from a movie, but I’m not so sure (editorial note: It’s from Platoon. Two seconds before this fat soldier gets called Bubble Butt, someone else calls him a fat fuck. So, I guess we lucked out).

My family rules remain a mystery to me until I break them (editorial note: essentially they boil down to “don’t almost fail out of sixth grade because you’re more focused on kissing girls on the playground”). So far I have learned my rule in my family (editorial note: another good one is “don’t run up your monthly cell phone bill your first semester in college by texting without an unlimited messaging plan”).

The biggest value in my family is education. My parents think school is important because they want us to become big successes in the world and make lots of money we can give to them (editorial note: #facepalm). Didn’t I tell you my parents are funny! Anyway, I think school is important because I want to enhance my thinking skills to help me be a better writer. Visiting relatives is important to us as a family, but I will expand on that later in this chapter.

The Ford Family circa 2008
Believe it or not, my family had trouble trying to figure out a family story. I, of course, pulled through with one (editorial note: I’ve had it. Stop being a prick 14-year-old Daniel Ford!). My mom was in a rocking chair burping my younger brother Patrick as I looked on behind the chair. All of a sudden, my brother threw up all over my face. My mother said I looked stunned for a minute and then started to cry. I don’t remember any of this, but it still makes me laugh whenever someone brings it up.

We spend as much time as we can with our relatives. Since my grandfather recently passed away, we try to visit my grandmother as much as possible because I’m sure it gets lonely without him. I spend a lot of time with my cousin and aunt as I’ve mentioned before, so I won’t bend your ear about it again. I am very close to all my relatives even though I do not see them all the time (editorial note: This remains true, although now they live in fear of hanging out with me and ending up in this blog. My Uncle Bobby has said, “This is off the record” on more than one occasion).

My animals also make my life worth living. I’ll start out with my agile, street-smart cat Becky. We got Becky from my Uncle Bobby’s next-door neighbor. We put her in a red cat carrier and brought her home. Becky roamed around for awhile and then she did what she is now famous for: sleep (editorial note: A more interesting story would have been that she used to befriend chipmunks in our driveway, toss them around for awhile, convincing them it was a game and they had nothing to fear, and then violently murder them and leave them for dead on the front porch to make us proud. We kind of were).

Sam, my large black Labrador Retriever/Collie mix, came into our lives a crisp, cool day in November. I got home from school and my little brother Patrick informed me that we had gotten a dog. I thought he meant a stuffed animal. Boy, was I wrong. I walked into the kitchen to find a rambunctious black dog happy he had finally found a home. I left my fear of dogs behind and found myself a friend for life. I even did my math homework on the kitchen floor that night. The only problem with that was he kept sticking his nose in my book. Sam was found on the street by one of my mom’s co-worker’s son. The son brought him home, but his mother was allergic to the dog. She brought the dog to work to see if anyone wanted him. My mom saw my father’s face written all over him, and brought Sam into our lives.

(Editorial note: I have a million great Sam stories. Probably the best is the day he ran my grandmother into a tree. My Aunt Ellen—my father’s sister—was walking him while my father took a shower before work. My younger brother—who must have been in kindergarten at this point—was hitting a Wiffle ball around the backyard, which was all fine and good while my aunt had a firm hold of Sam’s leash. My aunt spotted a flower growing near our house that she decided she wanted. So in an effort to STEAL A PLANT OUT OF OUR BACKYARD, Aunt Ellen hands a hyper, growing-bigger-everyday black Labrador to my elderly grandmother. Patrick hit a Wiffle ball at that moment and Sam took off after it. Instead of letting go, my grandmother hung on for dear life. Well, until her momentum was stopped by one of the trees in our yard. Her glasses broke and flew off her face and she was sprawled out on the grass. Leaving the scene of her horticulture crime, my aunt rushed to my grandmother’s side. She told Patrick to run inside and get my father. Of course, being all of five-years-old, he failed to make himself heard over the shower and then plopped in front of the television with a Poptart in hand. Needless to say, when my father finally emerged from the shower, he was none too pleased. My grandmother and Sam ended up being the best of friends however. God I miss that dog).
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