Although my mother called herself the Warden, she really didn’t run our home like a prison. Ours was a family of nicknames, and the Warden simply was hers. She called Dad the Governor, claiming we kids might get a pardon from him from time to time. However, as the Warden, she was not going to cut us any slack. That was her story, but in reality, neither she nor Dad was all that tough. But they had expectations.
My parents raised their seven children before the era of “quality” time. Growing up on the farm, we kids had “quantity” time with our parents. We lived together and we worked together — in the house, in the barns, and in the fields. Mom and Dad weren’t as concerned with boosting our self-esteem as much as teaching us how to work, take responsibility, and be accountable for our actions. They didn’t worry about their parenting style. They just loved us and set limits.
The Warden and the Governor didn’t do too bad raising their seven inmates. We all graduated from high school and completed various levels of post-secondary education. We’re all gainfully employed and supporting households of our own. When it comes to raising children, there’s something to be said for quantity time.
Remembering the Warden and the Governor
Marguerite Sternweis, July 25, 1930 – March 14, 2004
Donald Sternweis, March 12, 1930 – March 30, 2005