Now that I've given a bit of history about the Amish, I'd like to write some about my family, and some of this isn't going to be easy for me to talk about.
I live with my uncle Bill (my dad's brother) really because my dad is the most irresponsible human on the face of the Earth. I really don't like putting it that way, but sadly it's the truth. I guess I shouldn't be all mad because his irresponsibility is the reason I'm alive.
When my dad was in 7th grade he was small for his size, and then that winter he went from being one of the smallest boys in his class to a MAN. If you looked at the Christmas pictures of him and then saw the baseball team photo of him from a few months later you'd think it was two different people.
By that summer my dad was his adult size, could grow full facial hair, and as my uncle has told me, had manly needs. Hopefully you know what I mean by that.
My grandpa (dad's father) went on rumspringa when he was 16 and basically never looked back, and at 18 married my grandma who was a Mennonite who also didn't go back. She passed before I was born but she's still a big influence on me, as i write more I'll explain that.
They lived on a corn farm and both my dad and uncle Bill knew how to drive the pickup to do farm chores, so driving was not a big deal. All farm boys know how to drive, you have to. I can even drive! They lived close to another state that had driver's licenses that were very easy to fake, and my computer genius uncle Bill created one for my dad, making him 22. He looked it too, from pictures I've seen.
My dad used his fake id to buy beer for some Amish boys he knew on rumspringa, and at a barn party he met my mom. Mom's always told me it was love at first sight. That night he got her drunk and well I think you know what happened.
My dad left out a few things, like that he was 12, his family hadn't joined the Amish church, and did I mention he was 12? Mom was living with her sister who was a few years older and was still on rumspringa, and it wasn't until her expanding belly couldn't be hidden that the truth came out.
The Amish are known for not causing confrontations, but my uncle's told me the meeting between mom's parents and my dad's wasn't pretty. Actually my grandpa beat the crap out out my dad, and I think he deserved it. Having a baby out of wedlock happens in the Amish community just like everywhere else but it's just a really bad thing.
When I was born I ended up living with my dad's parents and my mom was sent to live with some relatives far from us. She continued on rumspringa and never joined the Amish church, and in a way she's been partially shunned by her family. My parents had thought about getting married but whatever feelings they had weren't the same after learning the truth. My mom and I keep in touch, and we have a good relationship but I hardly ever see her. We just do what we can to be positive about the whole thing.
I keep in touch with my other set of grandparents too, only by letter because they don't have a phone. We accept each other as we are, they write to me about their farm and family and I write back about my life leaving out anything to do with modern stuff. We visit them at least twice a year, in the summer and at Christmas, and we make the most of it. I have a uncle my age that I stay in touch with and am very close to, and I think when he goes on rumspringa he won't go back. I know I'll be writing about my "other" family some more in the future.
Dad had all kinds of problems, barely graduated from high school and went to college, where he got kicked out. He's been using drugs since after I was born, and is now working on a oil rig in the middle of nowhere. I hardly ever hear from him and when I do I can tell he's baked. I just don't have any respect for him, and use him as an example of what I don't want to become.
My uncle went to college, graduated with honors, and started working in a tech field where he used his brains to get a job would take him around the world doing his work. I lived with my grandpa when he left for his first work assignment in Europe, and that was tough.
When I was 8 uncle Bill gave us a visit and told me I'd be living with him in Europe for a while, and that it would be a great adventure for me. What they didn't tell me is my dad was in jail on drug charges and would be locked up for a while. They just wanted me to have a chance, a new start.
I have to do better than my dad, and it's all up to me.
You all have been awesome, thank you so much for being there for me!