I watched a really great doc on the “first family of surf” the Paskowitz’s last night, after coming upon the website and webisodes online. I was hooked, so I guess that campaign did it’s job.
Even though this family is incredible they also reminded me in some ways of my own experiences growing up with my Father. He raised my brothers and myself as a single father starting from when I was eight years old. There were a lot of struggles disagreement and insanity, but in the long run I think we are all stronger for it.
It was funny though because it did spark a bit of debate between my boyfriend, Ryan http://ryangraber.com/, and I. After the film he said that he was glad that he wasn’t raised like that because it seemed like there were so many opportunities that were cut off for the Paskowitz children because they had never received a formal education. This is true, and some amount of bitterness around this does come up in the film. However, I think it is a little more complex than that. It seems like for some of the opportunities that were closed off to the family, there were also many unique opportunities that came to the Paskowitz clan. Ultimately, I think it is very hard to compare the value of the upbringing of these people with anyone else in the world, since these nine people are an extremely unique group case.
Personally I believe your family is your family and for the most part people love their families no matter what. Given that, I would rather have an interesting family than a boring one.