Blessed with Brothers

The Springer Brothers—Photo from our Latest Family Reunion (June 2021)

            One of the blessings in life that I try not to take for granted is family. I had the good fortune of growing up in a stable home filled with love. Our parents, Paul and Virginia, were salt of the earth types who taught us many valuable lessons through the way they lived their lives. They showed us right from wrong and set the example of what it meant to be decent people, caring not only for their family but to show respect for others, their communities, and the Earth.

Our Parents—Virginia and Paul Springer
The Springer Family

Even though I knew I was fortunate growing up, I didn’t truly appreciate how lucky I was until adulthood. Teaching elementary school for 31 years, I saw children from different circumstances. Many came from wonderful families, though their socioeconomic situations varied. Having financial advantages was no guarantee of happiness. The critical ingredients in any family continue to be love and stability.

            Observing the dysfunction in some of my students’ lives was the most heartbreaking part of teaching. Instead of the stability their homes should have provided, some kids had to overcome parents who couldn’t manage their own lives, let alone be role models for them. Some of my students came to school without adequate food and clothing, not knowing where they might be sleeping that night. Other children had the misfortune of having incarcerated parents or those struggling with alcohol and substance abuse problems.

            How can we expect students who don’t have their basic needs met to care about school? Until society comprehends this reality, schools will never meet our children’s educational and emotional needs.

            I am the youngest of four boys. We’ve managed to scatter across the country with one brother living in each of the four continental time zones. One of my Bucket List dreams is to take a trip, spending some time with each brother. While it sounds like it might be a kick to write about the adventures of a cross-country driving trip, I know I won’t do that because I’d miss my wife being gone that long. Flying remains an option.

            We are a family of traditions. This past summer, we held our 11th Springer Family Reunion, a custom started by our parents many years ago. We typically gather every three years, and I appreciate each of these gatherings. Now there are children and grandchildren to keep the tradition alive.

After the pandemic began, we started a new tradition, now holding a Zoom meeting once a month. Now that we’re all retired, we have plenty of time to reminisce. I’m grateful for my brothers. They are three good men, and I’m proud to call them my brothers.

Monthly Zoom Meeting from Yesterday

I can’t help but think of all the people who have lost a sibling during the pandemic who may not have had the opportunity to mend their fences. I’ve often said that adults could take a lesson from elementary school children. They have disagreements and fights, but one of the most beautiful aspects of children is they know how to forgive and make up. In the end, they realize being friends is more important. We should all learn that message.

126 thoughts on “Blessed with Brothers

  1. Your are so lucky for all of that Pete, and this is a beautiful post

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor December 13, 2021 — 1:33 pm

      I am lucky in many ways, which is one of the reasons I seem to post so often about gratitude.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. it comes through loud and clear -)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Terrific post! Life is too short to hold a grudge!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor December 13, 2021 — 1:37 pm

      Part of the reason this post has been on my mind is I’ve talked to a few people who’ve had a falling out with a sibling they no longer speak with. How sad is that?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, and sadly in many cases it involves either politics or money…

        Liked by 1 person

  3. You are fortunate to be able to communicate with your siblings, Pete. Thanks for sharing. 😁

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor December 13, 2021 — 1:40 pm

      I think our parents would be pleased that we’re carrying their tradition forward. I am a lucky man to have such a tight-knit family.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a blessing to have such a great family Pete. The years I worked as a school secretary made me realize so many children were no lucky enough to experience a good home life. You are right – things need to change for so many abused and ignored children. An interesting ful post Pete. I enjoyed seeeing your wonderful family.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor December 13, 2021 — 1:43 pm

      As a former school secretary, I’m sure you have a better sense than most of why some children were so angry. I never had to worry about the barriers in some of my students’ lives.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Here’s to a better future for all of the children who are struggling through life right now. Thanks for being one of the teachers who cared.

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  5. Wonderful post, Pete! Thanks for sharing. Love the ZOOM gettogethers! Sister Marie (FL) and I Zoom occasionally and phone every Sunday. Grands and greatgrands Facetime and Message… We are all blessed to have access to getting together in so many ways even though COVID manages to keep us apart. FAMILY is everything–we must stick together through thick and thin!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor December 13, 2021 — 1:46 pm

      We postponed our reunion for a year until we felt safer to gather again. Being vaccinated is not a get-out-of-jail-free card, but it made us feel like we weren’t taking a significant risk.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post. It is one thing to be lucky to have what you have. It is another to recognize and appreciate it. Having to teach children that weren’t so lucky every day must have been a constant reminder. It has obviously made you into an even better.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor December 13, 2021 — 1:48 pm

      As adults, we realize that if we’re unhappy, we can do something about it. It seems unfair that children don’t always have that same luxury.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. to echo Beth’s comment, you are so lucky to be part of a wonderful family. I feel that way as well. I like the idea of having reunions. We are having a mini-one of sorts this Christmas. It’s the first time our three sons will be home for Christmas together in about seven years.

    I also agree that it is quite unfair to start out so early in life with a disadvantage against you through no fault of your own, as some of your students have.

    Happy holiday to you and your family!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor December 13, 2021 — 1:50 pm

      Thanks, Jim. By the way, my east coast brother is also named Jim. I hope your family has a beautiful gathering. How nice to be able to have all your boys together again.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jim must be an East Coast name… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I miss my brother more than I could ever say. I’m grateful that I was able to be with him on his final day to tell him how much he meant to me.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. petespringerauthor December 13, 2021 — 2:46 pm

      One of the things I thought about writing this was the time right before my dad passed. He wanted to call his brother and apologize for something that had happened to them a long time before. I’ve thought of that several times since, realizing some siblings never get a chance to make things right before one dies and the associated guilt with what must come with that.

      I hope that you have many good memories of your brother, Liz.

      I hope you’re having a lovely birthday. (Facebook told me.) There are no more secrets.😄

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have many, many good memories of my brother. No guilt, no regrets!

        Thank you for the birthday good wishes. I had a lovely birthday.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I love what you wrote about your brother in Grief Songs, Liz.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You’re welcome, Liz.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. You said it all. Family is crucial in many ways. You are blessed to have had such a wonderful upbringing and strong family ties.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor December 13, 2021 — 4:18 pm

      I enjoy many of the photos I’ve seen with you and your son. That’s a little harder for me since our son lives more than 1,000 miles away. We’re going to see him and his fiancee at Christmas.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. What a wonderful post, Pete. You are truly blessed.
    I’m fortunate to come from an extremely close family a well.
    I loved what you said about children being able to forgive so easily. Adults need to take a lesson from them.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor December 13, 2021 — 4:20 pm

      It is one of the remarkable things about most elementary school children. They know how to let go of problems better than many adults. Happy holidays to you and your family, Mae!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Merry Christmas to you and yours, Pete! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  11. As cool as your family sounds, I can’t help but feel sorry for your mother. Four boys! Yikes!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor December 13, 2021 — 6:45 pm

      She got a lot of that.😉 Her standard answer was, “I love my boys.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And she’s a saint, too.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Beautiful post Pete. You were truly blessed to have a loving family. And being a teacher gave you great insight as to just how many didn’t have that. Great post! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. petespringerauthor December 13, 2021 — 8:43 pm

      Thanks, Debby. It indeed was an eye-opener. There were kids who I would have liked to take home with me if I could. It was so sad to teach children I knew would be fine if they could escape their chaotic home lives. I read about your challenges growing up, but thank goodness for your dad and sweet aunt.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So true Pete. As tumultuous as my young life was, I was blessed to have those two in my corner. I can only imagine the sadness so many teachers harbor for the many students who endure instability in their homes. You’re an earth angel Pete. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  13. You are truly blessed and I love how you take this blessing and pay it forward!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor December 13, 2021 — 8:46 pm

      A lot of that attitude comes directly from my parents. We all have a shared responsibility to the Earth and the next generation. If we were all a little less self-centered, the world would be a better place.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. You’re right, Pete. Having a loving family is not something we should take it for granted.

    I remember one Monday when I asked the class what they did on the weekend as a pre-writing activity, one student said he went to visit his cousin in the prison. He said it in such a way as if it was a normal thing to do. Then after I went into administration, I volunteer to mentor a Vietnamese student at the school next to my office. She never saw her mom because her mom slept during the day and drove four hours each way to work at night at Vegas. She had a brother who bullied her. The dad also didn’t have regular hours either. The teacher said she was quiet. I’m glad I could talk to her. As teachers, we do see many students from dysfunctional families.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor December 14, 2021 — 8:57 am

      Your memories reinforce the belief that we should never judge others for two reasons: (1) It is not our place to judge anyone except ourselves. (2) We may be unaware of all of the things that others might have going on in their lives. We are a very judgmental society.

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      1. That’s exactly the point, Pete. When someone said to me, so and so doesn’t like me because he doesn’t talk to me. I would say, you’re not the problem. Maybe that person has a situation.

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  15. You are certainly blessed, Pete I love how you also care so much about others and pay it forward…My wish is that all children have the same advantages of being loved and cared for 🙂 x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor December 14, 2021 — 9:01 am

      Paying it forward takes little to no effort, and it makes us feel good about ourselves as well—seems pretty much like a no-brainer. You do the same with all of your posts about taking care of Earth. We shouldn’t leave the planet in worse shape than when we got here.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Absolutely , Pete on both counts we can only live our best life and hope its enough …:) x

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Wonderful post Pete and a reminder that family is not just for Christmas but all the time. I have not been able to see my sisters for over two years now although we speak every week on Skype. Hopefully we will be together for my sister’s 80th in February.. fingers crossed. x

    Liked by 3 people

    1. petespringerauthor December 14, 2021 — 9:05 am

      I sure hope that works out for you, Sally. Technological advances make it so much easier to stay connected, but there’s nothing better than to share hugs and laughs in person.

      Like

  17. How lovely to have such strong family bonds, Pete. A beautiful post. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor December 14, 2021 — 9:08 am

      Naturally, one thinks back to grandparents and great grandparents to explain how our parents came to be the people they were. A strong foundation makes all the difference.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It so does, Pete. ❤

        Liked by 2 people

  18. Another lovely post, Pete. It’s good that you have such a family around you, and can continue the example your parents set for you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor December 14, 2021 — 9:12 am

      My nearest brother lives almost 1,400 miles away, so we don’t get to see one another much. Still, the family bond is strong, and our Zoom meetings help us stay connected. We get caught up in each others’ lives and share lots of laughs and memories. I look forward to it each month.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It sounds wonderful, Pete. And your nearest brother lives more than twice the length of the UK away!

        Liked by 2 people

  19. Your parents did a good job raising all of you! Great post, Pete!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor December 14, 2021 — 9:16 am

      They kept us grounded and always taught us to look out for others. Our parents were thrifty people but were highly generous to causes they believed in. They both gave the gift of themselves to others.—a lesson I’ve tried to pass on to our son.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. What a great reflection on the importance of a loving and stable family, Pete. I noticed quite a family resemblance between you and your brothers, and especially between you and your father. I think it is wonderful that you have monthly reunions on zoom. Your three-year in-person reunions are great too. Your advice based on observations of young children is well-grounded too. Sadly, my family (siblings) is very splintered. I’m not sure we’ll ever reunite in the way you describe.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor December 14, 2021 — 9:20 am

      Sadly, some family circumstances are beyond our control. All you can do is try until you get to the point where you realize it’s unproductive. I’m sure you’ve worked with plenty of children who come from less than ideal situations, Norah.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I sure have, Pete. It can be heartbreaking at times. I’ve often wished I could wrap some of them up in love and bring them home. Unfortunately, that’s not possible. We just try to make them feel loved and give them a sense of hope when we can. I think that’s more important than anything else.

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  21. A beautiful tribute to family, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor December 14, 2021 — 9:22 am

      Thanks, Pam. Wishing you and your family happy holidays. Enjoy your time off from work.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Great post, Peter!
    Love the “salt of the earth” description of your parents. So true!
    💖Ann

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor December 14, 2021 — 9:27 am

      Thanks, Ann. One of my friends used that description for Mom and Dad, which is quite appropriate. Chimp and Rose laid the same groundwork for your family too.

      Like

  23. Awwww. Look at you and your family. I’m glad to see you’ve all survived a childhood of boys. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor December 14, 2021 — 9:32 am

      You will, too, Chel. Your boys will grow into men that you’re incredibly proud of. Maybe that’s the book that you’re meant to write.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was hoping that would be a sequel…

        Liked by 1 person

  24. Wonderful post. I also have a brother – wish I had more siblings. We have had our ups and downs but are always close.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. petespringerauthor December 14, 2021 — 11:21 am

      Our son is an only child. I have a little regret that he doesn’t have a sibling, but I imagine there are some perks to being the only one too. Always good to hear from you, Noelle. Are you working on a new novel?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Both my kids have one child each, and we are trying to convince them how good it is to have siblings. My husband was an only child and has always regretted it. Thanks for asking about my writing effort! I have been busy promoting The Last Pilgrim and am about 2/3 rds through my next mystery. Hope to finish in the spring, then the editing etc and start my next historical novel about the Revolutionary War. What are you up to?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. petespringerauthor December 14, 2021 — 5:09 pm

        Thanks for asking, Noelle. I’m all over the map. I decided to try and seek an agent for children’s novel #1. I’ve pulled back and am rewriting some parts yet again. I suspect that I’ll eventually self-publish in the next year as I tire of the process. #2 I’m 3/4 of the way through the (first draft) children’s novel #2. The learning curve is steep as I continue to learn about writing fiction. I’m still having fun, which is a large part of my retirement. #3 For variety, I started writing a humor book for adults. I might blog a sample of that soon.

        The Revolutionary War was one of my favorite things to teach in 5th grade. Some of my better readers could handle Johnny Tremain. I’ll bet you’re familiar with that. I know I’ll be a customer when your Revolutionary War book is completed. Much luck with that.

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  25. Some good insights here, Pete. Who heard of Zoom before 2020! I must say, I am getting kind of tired of it now and yearn for when we’ll be seeing people face to face again.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor December 14, 2021 — 11:31 am

      Who knew we’d still be here as we move into 2022? Besides the obvious physical challenges of the pandemic, the mental gymnastics are equally problematic. I used to get our retired teachers together for a monthly gathering, but like so many other things that is now back on hold.

      Like

  26. Hi Pete, you certainly have a wonderful family. You are very fortunate as it is not the same for everyone as you correctly pointed out in this post. Lots of children bear terrible weights on their young shoulders but we all get dealt our cards in life and we have to play them to the best of our abilities.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. petespringerauthor December 14, 2021 — 11:35 am

      It would be nice if everyone was dealt the same hand, but as we know, that’s fantasy. One of the things I find most interesting is how some people seem to have more resiliency than others. Some people complain about their circumstances, while others are more proactive and change their path.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. HI Pete, I have certainly noticed that too. Even within my own family.

        Liked by 1 person

  27. My younger sister was a ‘surprise’ , as third children are often claimed to be. I know we are supposed to be having less children to save the planet, but I think if there are no medical reasons the best thing you can do for your beloved first baby is have another one and perhaps more. Those decisions reflect down the generations ensuring the single or childless have nephews and nieces. Everyone assumed our third baby was a mistake, he wasn’t and what would we all do without him, a great help and friend to me and his brother and sister. And my sister? We are on opposite sides of the world with Covid preventing several planned visits. Thank goodness for the internet. She doesn’t have children, but is a wonderful aunty.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor December 14, 2021 — 1:50 pm

      I wondered if I were a surprise, but I don’t remember ever asking my parents that question. My older brothers are two years apart, and then I came along four years later.

      I suppose you could call or write letters to your sister, but that’s one area where technology has made our lives so much easier.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Perhaps only mothers tell their daughters about surprises! My sister is also a doctor, so it was a good surprise for the world!

        Like

  28. A great post, Pete. You are indeed lucky to have three wonderful brothers. I too was lucky to have had amazing parents and three wonderful brothers. Although there are only two left, I am very close to both of them. (We lost a brother over 40 years ago in an industrial accident). Even though I live in Spain, one lives in Thailand and the other in Canada, we keep in touch on a regular basis. I worked with youth at risk and saw how awful some of their family lives were. It made me appreciate my family even more.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. petespringerauthor December 14, 2021 — 3:39 pm

      I think I knew I was fortunate at the time but didn’t truly appreciate it until I got older and saw what chaos some of my students had in their lives.

      While I’m talking about how spread out my family is, the three of you are living on separate continents! I remember your delightful post about working with foreign exchange students.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Wonderful post, Pete. I am fortunate to live in the same town as my only sibling, a brother who is twelve years my senior. Your post is a reminder that we should never take anyone or anything for granted. Life is too short.

    With so many bad things stemming from the pandemic, it’s nice to point out the positives, such as Zoom meetings. It’s great that you and your brothers have a monthly chat.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. petespringerauthor December 14, 2021 — 4:31 pm

      One thing about getting older is that Father Time catches up with all of us. I don’t dwell on my mortality other than to think about making my time count. One of those ways is by letting the important people in my life know how much I care about them.

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Great story, Pete. Keep in touch with those siblings often. It’s important in the long run. I’m the youngest of seven, three left. Keep them close, at least spiritually.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. petespringerauthor December 14, 2021 — 7:37 pm

      Wow! Youngest of seven! We don’t see families like that very often anymore. As a retired educator, I love your story, Thanks for everything you have done with children, Steve.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, Pete. Oh, by the way, the family across the street had 6, 5 girls and a boy. Now, go out and have a great day!

        Liked by 1 person

  31. Well, Mr. Springer, you have sprung from a good lot. I like your reference to Salt of the Earth types. My Aunt actually received a Salt of the Earth award from Lutheran Social Services for her work with refugees. You probably already know that because you’ve read my memoir.

    You obviously cherish your brothers, a good thing. My only brother died a few years ago. Too soon!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. petespringerauthor December 14, 2021 — 9:17 pm

      Your love of family comes across loud and clear in many of your posts, Marian. Of course, we educators know the importance of a solid foundation. When our loved ones and role models set a great example like your aunt did, some of that selflessness is bound to rub off on us. I hope you have the best memories of your brother.

      Liked by 1 person

  32. Heartwarming dedication to your family. Your folks seem like amazing role models! I have always felt blessed to have my sisters by my side through this life. As I grew up, I realized quickly that not everyone had that- few actually. Even when you have siblings there’s no guarantee you’ll have a close bond.

    I love your family tradition.. Maybe one day your wife will join you on this amazing grand adventure to see everyone 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. petespringerauthor December 15, 2021 — 8:43 am

      The inspiration for writing this piece was partly in response to a couple of close friends who regret not being closer with siblings.

      My wife feels the same way about travel as I do about shopping. “Get me out of here! Make it be over!”🤣 She doesn’t like being in a car for a long time or flying in airplanes. She just wants to be there—I get it.

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Like you, Pete, I was blessed with first-rate, loving parents and had three brothers – all of whom I loved dearly. Sadly, there is only one left now. Husband and I have three, loving sons, and I only hope they will continue to keep in close touch as you do with your brothers. May you all have a very healthy, happy Christmas and a united New Year. Cheers!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor December 15, 2021 — 8:47 am

      Thanks so much for the good wishes, Joy! It must be hard on parents when they have children who aren’t getting along. Fortunately, we did—even as children. Do your sons live near? I hope you have been able to see your grandchildren some during this trying period in history.

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      1. Thanks for your reply. Pete. Luckily, two live within ten minutes drive away. One rings every day, bless him. Our third son lives in Denmark but we are in touch regularly and he helps me with anything technical (I’m as clueless as a Dodo). He puts my posts on for me and provides photos, which really helps. Sadly, while all three have faithful, long-standing partners, none have provided me with a grand-child and are now too ancient…Still I can boast of a grand-dog and two grand-cats!! Cheers xx.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. petespringerauthor December 15, 2021 — 11:31 am

        How nice to have two of them so close. Our son lives more than 1,000 miles away. He’s newly engaged but we’ll see and his fiancee next week.

        Liked by 1 person

  34. Oh, lucky indeed you are Pete, but as you say, I also give so much credit to your parents (such good-looking, NICE people) and in their parenting and being loving role models. I also think of your mom – raising FOUR boys! Wowzie. My son and DIL are raising three boys, very well, but it is a challenge. They need to keep them busy with sports and or hikes/activities every day to get that energy out. I have one brother, and he is an amazing man. A warm and supportive “older brother” (18 months younger than me, but for years now I’ve decided he’s my “older brother”). We took care of our parents as they aged, had health problems, and then in their passing. I couldn’t have done any of this without my brother. And we get together yearly for vacations, and other visits during the year despite an 8-hour drive. All I’m saying is that I feel your gratitude and understand it on a deep level.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor December 15, 2021 — 11:39 am

      As one of my longtime colleagues used to say about some of our most challenging kids after meeting their parents, “They are the way they are because of the way they are.” In other words, we were suddenly filled with empathy for our most troublesome children after we’d met their “role models.” The expression “the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree comes to mind.” It’s not rocket science, and the same was true for the well-mannered and kind children who were a product of terrific parenting.

      That’s great that you see your brother yearly and that you were there to support each other with your parents’ needs.

      Liked by 1 person

  35. Your family looks lovely, Pete. I bet your parents are/were very proud of their boys. It would break my heart to let those children go home to uncertain circumstances. I imagine you had many sleepless nights {{hugs}}

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    1. petespringerauthor December 15, 2021 — 10:29 pm

      It took me at least half of my career to be able to let things go at the end of the day. I used to wake up in the middle of the night thinking about how to help specific students. Some people were much better at that than I was.

      I am proud of my brothers and the rest of my family, and I’d like to think our parents would be proud of the way we turned out.

      Liked by 1 person

  36. Thanks for sharing a little of your family with us. I never met your brothers but they sound like wonderful men. I always liked your parents, especially when they left us alone while we played poker at your house. I remember at your wedding your mom saw me standing around and asked me to dance. I bet she always looked out for others, and she and your dad did a great job raising the Springer boys.

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    1. petespringerauthor December 16, 2021 — 8:43 am

      Bill (3rd oldest brother) moved out to California with us when I started high school. He had finished his first year of college in Minnesota but decided to come with us. I think he lived with us for about a year before he got an apartment.

      Asking you to dance sounds totally like my mom because she always tried to include everyone. Little did she know that dancing was the last thing you wanted to do. The story I like to tell about her is she always wanted EVERYONE to meet her sons. One time I was over visiting after I’d moved out, and she brought me down the hallway to meet the plumber. I still laugh, remembering the quizzical look on his face that said, “Look, lady, I’m just here to fix your toilet.” It was a ten on the awkward scale.

      Mom had quite the connection of friends who lived on Charles Ave. Besides your mom, I remember Katherine Stewart, Pat Thornburgh, and Peggy Styles. When we finally convinced Mom to move into Timber Ridge, one of the selling points was Katherine Stewart lived right across the hallway there.

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  37. Wonderful post Pete! Having a good family is indeed a special blessing!❤
    My sister’s and I were just together last weekend. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor December 16, 2021 — 1:00 pm

      Geography is certainly a factor in being able to see our family. Zoom and FaceTime aren’t bad alternatives since we don’t live near family on either side. We’ve got an Airbnb next week to see our son and his fiancee in Portland. They’re coming out from Montana, and we’ll spend Christmas with my wife’s family.

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      1. I am very thankful that our family isn’t too scattered but yes technology is a big blessing! Enjoy visiting your son next week!

        Liked by 1 person

  38. Yes, dancing is not my forte, but as I recall your mom and I had a nice dance. That’s funny about the plumber. At least the quizzical look was on his face and you didn’t have to deal with the crack on a certain other body part.

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  39. What a great nostalgic read! When you and I grew up, there were more core families and not as many extra curricular activities. Families had more time together, good or bad. By the way, good luck to your son with his chosen passion in sports.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor December 17, 2021 — 7:59 am

      Thanks, Nancy. We’ve been attending his football games in person or watching them online for each of the last 17 years. I laugh because my wife once had no interest in football, and now she knows the game inside-out. “They’ve got to cut down on their turnovers.”🤣 Then there was the day I came home from running errands and found her watching some random game that our son wasn’t involved in. That’s when I knew we had a convert on our hands. 😄

      While I think core family activities are essential, extracurricular events can be great for kids. It’s a quandary—some of both are probably what’s best.

      Like

      1. It’s wonderful your wife now shares the family passion. Hilarious actually. But, you’re right, everything in moderation. And the family that plays together, stays together! Right? Thank you for sharing your wife’s conversion experience. Happy New Year to you and your fun family!

        Liked by 1 person

  40. Beautiful post, Pete. Love that last paragraph. As adults we usually find holding onto a grudge easier than forgiving and forgetting. I wish to be more forgiving too.
    Your family is beautiful. 4 brothers, wow, a full house! I grew up with an older sister and I didn’t realise how much I loved having her around till she moved away to attend college. I couldn’t sleep alone in our room for weeks after. 🙈
    As we’ve grown older, we have had our fair share of fights too but manage to make it up and start afresh. ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor December 17, 2021 — 11:58 am

      It’s not that unusual for siblings to fight, but you can make up at least. Some handle disagreements by choosing not to talk to their siblings. That seems like an immature way to handle things. I remember how different it seemed when I was the only child left in the house, Moksha. Sometimes we want our privacy, but other times we miss them. Humans have some strange habits. Thanks for commenting.

      Like

  41. A beautiful post about the importance of a loving family, Pete. I love the picture of you, your parents, and brothers. All those smiles! I used to work with struggling kids and know the heartbreak you’re talking about when kids, for whatever reason, live insecure lives. It has a lasting impact. Thanks for reminding us to be grateful and compassionate. Have a beautiful holiday season, my friend. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor December 18, 2021 — 8:18 am

      On the last day of teaching before the winter break (yesterday for much of the country), there was usually much excitement, both from staff and children. The team was excited for two weeks off and a much-needed break from work. Most children were thrilled by the excitement of Christmas. I also learned early in my career that some kids were sad on this day. School, which many of us were happy to give up for two weeks, sadly was the one stable place in their lives. It was a heartbreaking realization.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That is sad, Pete. The change in routine can be difficult for lots of kids, my grandson included. Thanks for being such a thoughtful and compassionate teacher and person. 🙂 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. petespringerauthor December 18, 2021 — 8:46 am

        Happy holidays to you and your family, Diana.

        Liked by 1 person

  42. I love that you zoom once a month with your brothers. That speaks volumes on your family bonds. I am with your wife on wanting to just get there, lol. And interestingly, my sister and her husband are huge cross-country drivers, I think it’s their favorite thing to do! She and I may not share too many outside interests, but we sure come together in helping mom. We work as a team, and I’m lucky to have that. And on a side note, congrats on your son’s engagement!! That’s wonderful.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor December 18, 2021 — 8:23 am

      Haha! I don’t want to create the illusion that I’m that guy who loves traveling by auto. I’m in love with the fantasy of traveling cross country more than the reality. Two hours in, I’d probably be saying, “Whose idea was this?”😂

      I look forward to our Zoom meetings—it is one of the things I can count on that brings me joy during the pandemic.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor December 18, 2021 — 3:56 pm

      Thanks for the reblog, Michael.

      Liked by 1 person

  43. Wow! Great to read that. You are really blessed, Pete! But beein honest, your mom which has to deal with four man in the house, has also have the honor. I think raising three boys can be very stresssing, some times. 😉 xx Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor December 18, 2021 — 3:56 pm

      I’m sure, like all kids, we gave them our share of grief. Dad traveled a fair amount in his job, so Mom had to hold the fort down in his absence. I always wondered what it would be like to have sisters, but I got pretty lucky with my siblings.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So true, Pete! Thanks for sharing this story, and enjoy a nice rest of the weekend. If we do not meet before, i wish you also a wonderful Christmas time. xx Michael

        Like

  44. Hear, hear! This message of love and stability should be there for every child. I’m going to jump to the last thing you said, that children know how to forgive and make up. They realize being friends is more important. Adults could learn so much from children.

    Yesterday Harry was clearly troubled at lunch time. When I asked him if he was okay, he said “Oliver told me he doesn’t want to be my friend.” Oh really? I put the two boys together, because I know this wasn’t true, and it takes both children to work things out. Within minutes, feelings were mended. Children can mend their fences AND move forward. Quickly. Boy, I’ll say it again, adults can learn so much from children.

    Pete, I love reading about your family and brothers. That reunion every three years has to be just wonderful. Family is everything, and your parents sure left a legacy of love and stability. That’s why you and your brothers are who you are. We can thank Covid for Zooms – probably the only good thing from the disease.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family, Pete!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor December 18, 2021 — 6:19 pm

      A great example of how quickly kids can work through their problems. Just allow them to make things right, and they often do. Good for Oliver and Henry to make up. Kids are like most of us—they want order in our lives and know that others care for us.

      My parents did well. Each brother did well in their chosen path. Tom (bottom left) was the other educator in the family. He taught for 40 years in Minnesota—most of them in 3rd grade. One of his interests that he passed onto his students was a love for chess, running an after-school chess club.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We are lucky to be aware of what children need most. How wonderful that your brother was an elementary school teacher, too. See, passing along one’s love to children (chess, music, etc.) keeps the joy flowing. Your parents must have been very proud! Merry Christmas, Pete!

        Liked by 1 person

  45. Wonderful to have siblings and memories, and all the history to pass on!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor January 9, 2022 — 8:49 am

      It’s pretty great not to have any drama between anyone. We all get along well when we get together. We’re Zooming later today.

      Liked by 1 person

  46. your parents had such great smiles!! & we’re lucky they were there for you so that you are here for us who didn’t have such great parents ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor February 4, 2022 — 9:44 pm

      As a teacher, you see kids from every possible living situation imaginable—some coming to school without food and others not knowing they would be sleeping that night. I never had to worry about those things, and I’m also sorry for those not raised in loving homes.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. sometimes I feel like the people with good homes & those without have trouble understanding each other, so I’m especially impressed that you can see both sides

        Liked by 1 person

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