Raising Cody - The Early Years

This is a story about a boy who becomes a young man, then turns back into a boy, and finally finds his way into real manhood.

Raising Cody - The Early Years

This is a story about a boy who becomes a young man, then turns back into a boy, and finally finds his way into real manhood. Don't get hung up thinking this story is only about me, it's about all of us. Try to relate and learn something about yourself. For some, this story will remind you of someone else, go with it.

I need to start with my mom because she is truly one of a kind. Everything she does, she does 110%. She was a barrel racer, police explorer, CSI trainee, ran the farm, and for most of my life, she was a shipping and receiving manager at a very large company.

The police training she got from Dallas PD proved to be of some difficulty to me, that will make sense soon enough.

When I was born, she gave up everything, I became her focus. She made it her mission that I became an honest-to-goodness man. She had to, it was a fight in so many ways.

When she was 6 months pregnant my dad left. When I was 1 my granny passed away. She was my mom's best friend. Then at age 2, our house burned down. Way too quickly, my sweet Italian mom and I were all alone, with not much to call our own.

Now I'm not trying to bum you out or be all woes is me. The context is just so important. For 20+ years I missed out on the context of my upbringing. It didn't feel like it happened to me, not at least that I could remember. It happened to my mom, but I was there, so it was us, and it shaped me.

Well, I can't forget to introduce dad. He was a part-time horse trader and full-time conman. They loved each other, but dad had a chronic inability to work things out after going past a certain point. It was dad's 5th marriage and mom's 3rd. Mom was in a bad relationship when they met and the two of them just worked, well, until they didn't. It was hard growing up without a dad, but I fell in love with the idea of being a conman. Adult Cody thinks it was the only way I could feel close.

Fast forward a bit, I was a real handful growing up. Almost everything came easy to me. One thing, in particular, came way too easily, lying. I lied in every situation, stupid things that didn't matter. Some things though are a little funny. Once before a big math test, I convinced my 4th-grade teacher I had no idea what subtract meant. Which at the time seemed like a really good idea, no math test meant I could go home and watch TV. I actually loved math, it was my favorite and best subject. TV, however, was slightly more appealing. But instead, life gave me a curveball... The teacher picks up the phone and calls my mom... "Ms. Tucker, we have a problem. Do you realize that your son doesn't know how to subtract?"

Reader, I don't know how your memory is, but just a few paragraphs up I told you my mom trained to be a crime scene investigator with the Dallas police. Just throwing that out there because I forgot that, a lot... Lies just didn't work on her and she always would go above and beyond to break me of that habit. Partly because it reminded her of my dad, but mostly, because a good man is honest and his word means something.

Back in 4th grade, I can still remember the grizzled voice on the other end of the phone as my mom said. "I'm on my way." Once there she quickly set me straight and I promptly aced the math test.

Something about seeing people confused or confounded interested me. My mom always seemed to know what to do and had answers to my millions of questions growing up. But one question neither she nor I could answer. Why did I lie?

Adult me knows how hard it is to keep a family on track. My mom shielded from me the pressures of surviving. Looking back I can see my urge to solve problems I could never understand. She knew I would have my own problems and she did everything to help me not start in a deficit.

I'm glad to be the person I am today and I think shielding me helped me become a caring problem solver. But every day I could feel the tension of our past sneaking up. The sadness of my mom being all alone and my inability to make it all go away. She alone held the stress of keeping us above water.

Somehow by osmosis, I collected all the feelings that I could never understand and carried them with me. I knew something wasn't right, but I wasn't supposed to fix it. It wasn't my time to be the hero and, I didn't know enough, I wasn't strong enough, and it wasn't my place.

I'm sure a psychologist could quickly sum up what was going on in my brain. But young Cody only knew what it felt like, it led to me deciding I could never face issues head-on and that I wasn't good enough. No amount of praise or words of affirmation could change my mind either.

There was one thing that did make me feel better, the time between when a lie was told and when it was found out. In that fantasy land, all of our problems were gone. My dad had a shared this habit, which in most, lead to my parent's divorce. Of course, reminding mom that I was my father's son was painful.

Now I know, what mom needed most was a person that she could trust. All of a sudden she had to watch her back around me, and couldn't let her guard down. This just fed our vicious cycle. Her disappointment, my inadequacy, my coping.

Reader, my goal in documenting my life is to help people. If you know a family that needs to read this, send it to them. This is part 1 of a 3 part series, I'm picking up on part 2 where my mom meets my future step-dad. Part 3 ends with healing, understanding, and major growth.

Healing is always possible and people's minds are dual processors. We don't always do what we think is best, sometimes we take the immediate relief or joy, over the long-term resolution. Be gentle with each other, family is forever.

Share in the comments if you learn something from this, what is your story, has this helped you understand the behavior of someone you love?

Written by Cody W Tucker

Eternal optimist. Founder of TMV Social and Nebraska's Best business directory.
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