Growing Up

Please describe the environment in which you were raised.

I have grown up in a household with parents who come from very different backgrounds. My father’s grandparents were first generation German immigrants, and holidays and family gatherings were of the utmost importance when my Dad was growing up. This tradition remains intact; Christmas and other family holidays are big, loud gatherings: with seven cousins, four sets of aunts and uncles, my grandmother, and great aunt and great uncle. In Philadelphia, my grandmother’s kitchen table rivals Main Street for its business. Surrounded by friends and family, she spoils my brother and me with cookies and Cocoa Puffs (contraband at home) when we visit on weekends. I have learned, from my grandmother, to appreciate the strong community of family where there is always someone around to keep you company.

Though my mother’s side of the family is a bit more reserved, and smaller in number, it is equally warm. Thanksgivings and New Years include cozy fires and good food. We are an idiosyncratic bunch. My uncles own a restaurant, and my other family works in business. My step-grandfather loves to tell complicated stories with lots of characters and complicated moral lessons. Each of us has oddities; while we often roll our eyes at each other...

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