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Written by Travis Robbins
8th Grade - Marsh Jr. High School For Ms. Clemens English Class
Special Note from Ms. Clemens
1) Why it is important to write about me
It is important to write about me so that my thoughts can be put down on a piece of paper to be read and for me to be understood. It is important that other people can experience and examine my young life and be able to tell stories and events from the life of Travis Lavoy Robbins.
2) The place where I grew up and how it influenced me
I grew up in the city of Martinez, California. For all of you who don't know where that is, it is in the Bay Area. It was a nice place for a little kid. We lived in a small neighborhood of nice clean houses and people. With a nice house, lots of toys, a big, pretty backyard, a swing set, a little seasonal creek by our house, and a lot of friends, what else could a kid want? (Other than a new bike, a pool, an airplane, a machine gun, a genie, money..........).
My dad was and still is a self-employed contractor, and brought in a good amount of money to feed his family of five, take good vacations, and keep up a nice house.
My parents -Randy and Claudia Robbins- lived in Pittsburg, California with two boys: Brandon-3 ½, and Jared-17 months, when I came along on August 21, 1986. Then we moved to Martinez a little after I was born.
We were a good, church going Christian family with good morals. We went to Clayton Valley Church in Concord. God is and was the most important thing in our lives, and my parents raised us accordingly.
I went to John Sweat School and can still remember my kindergarten teacher always sending me outside to sit until I could calm down. I would try to hide my face so that my brothers wouldn't see me while getting a drink or going to the bathroom and tell my mom. (Although my teacher would call her and tell her anyways.)
I was always kicking kids and stealing their glue or something. I remember having to go to the principal's office with another kid for fighting and he made us shake hands! Eeeeeeeeeeew! I had to touch him! I had always been a real stubborn kid and was until I was about 7 or 8.
From some of the stories I've heard from my parents, I guess I was a down right terror! But I won't tell all of them for the sake of my dignity and your breakfast. My mom said she would put me down for a nap and would come back in the room, and I would be standing up in my crib playing. So, she would lie me back down, leave the room, come back in, and I would be trying to tear the drapes off the wall! (And on and on and on and on..............) She said if I was ever alone and quiet, I was doing something terribly wrong like writing on the walls or cutting my stuffed animals hair off with scissors. I still have a little stuffed dog that I tried to give a haircut. And so, she always had to keep her eye on me to make sure I wasn't stealing orange tic tacks from the store or sticking my finger on the car cigarette lighter (which happened twice).
We lived in Martinez until I was six, then we moved to Forest Ranch.
After all the joy and tears we experienced in that house, we had to say goodbye. And so, after all the coordinating, packing, spending and selling, we said our last good-byes to our friends and family, and started down that highway we were so used to driving every day, and got on the freeway headed for Forest Ranch.
Forest Ranch was a great place for me to spend the rest of my young childhood. Living up here helped me to toughen up and create a love for nature, the mountains, animals, and beautiful sunsets, sights, and views. I love the awesome smell of fresh air and the woods! Living up here has created a love for those cool nights I've spent with my brothers and friends driving around in the night air yelling and playing basketball and playing football and wrestling. It has created a love for climbing trees, hiking, having friends, riding motorcycles, working on cars and motorcycles, and going four wheeling in the mountains and mud in the "big ol' souped up" truck.
3) How people in my family relate to each other emotionally
We'll start with my mom, Claudia - age 42. My mom is a loving, kind woman who wouldn't hurt a fly. She labors all day working doing the laundry, watching the stock market, sweeping the floors, vacuuming, working for money, paying the bills ...................... She always puts other people before herself and wants everyone to be happy. Whenever I am down, she always talks me into a good mood. I would say she is the most emotional one in our family.
Then we have my dad, Randy - age 41-1month away from 42. My dad also breaks his back for the clothes on my back as a contractor. He is always tired and sometimes in a bad mood because he has to work all day. He is a big, strong man with a stern personality, but he sometimes can come down to my level and laugh along with our (My brothers and I) stupid and wild behavior. He is very smart and has a giving heart. He is pretty emotionally stable.
Then, there's my brother, Brandon-age 16-1 month away from 17. He is my nicest brother and has always been real obedient to my parents. He has a real calm, but sometimes crazy, nice personality. He loves to lift weights and participate in any bodybuilding or hunting activities. He has always protected me from my brother Jared, and has provided a good role model for me to look up to. I think he really acts like and relates to my dad. He never shows his emotions.
May I present Jared-age 14-2 months away from 15: the good-looking girl charmer who every girl dreams over!!! He is nice most of the time, but sometimes, he can be really mean. He used to always be real mean to me, and he used to be very disobedient to my mother. But now he has changed and is pretty pleasant to be around. He loves dirt bikes and Harleys. He's the wildest one out of all of us, and he always messes around and wants attention. He doesn't really relate to anyone in my family from my point of view; a little of my mom, and a little of my dad. He doesn't show his emotions most of the time.
Now we have me, Travis-age 13. I can't really tell about myself because I don't really know myself and what other people see me as. I am not a real dominant person, but can be at times. I like to keep up on my schoolwork and do good, quality work. I like to have leader positions instead of follower positions. I like sports and I like to be active. I'm usually real excited and hyper. I kind of have a mixed personality. I relate more to my mom. I'm not real emotionally stable.
All in all, we all kind of live the same lifestyles, like the same things, and agree pretty well-except my brother Jared and I.
4) How birth order effected me
As you have previously read, I'm the youngest of three boys. Being the youngest, I was babied more by my parents than my brothers were. My parents raised my oldest brother more strictly, my middle brother in between strict and mellow, and me mellowly.
As I've said before, my oldest brother looks out for me and saves me from the savage wrath of my middle brother. He is real nice, but can sometimes get real mad and gets rough with me. But all in all, he kind of second parents me - if you know what I mean.
Jared is a different story. If I would've written this paper last year, I would be saying some pretty mean things about him. He's all right I guess. Sometimes he can still be real mean. He used to always hurt me and pick on me. He would call me names and hit me upside the head and taunt me until I would try to hurt him. That's when I really got hurt. I admit, I sometimes annoyed him, but he was usually doing it just to be mean.
From what I've observed from my experiences, and other people's experiences, I've found that the older siblings seem to be real nice and protective, the middle siblings are mean, wild, and good looking, and the youngest siblings seem to be the babied emotional ones.
5) Games I played as a child
When I was little, I used to love to play cowboys and Indians with my guns, hats, fake horses, canteens, and badges wearing my vest, jeans, cowboy boots, and face paint. I would dress up like a cowboy and run all over the house shooting and yelling, pretending I was shooting "those bad Indians".
I can remember playing Rambo, Robocop, Ninja Turtles, and G-I-Joes too. My brothers and I always played those war games. We could play for hours and not get bored.
I remember one time, my dad made my brothers and I a TP out of an old blanket we had. We all stripped down to our underwear and covered our bodies in mud and pretended we were Indians. We had lots of fun.
6) Things we did as a family
We always did-and still do-do things together. We've always gone camping together, eaten together, gone to church together-everything. When I look at other families and how no one eats or goes places together, it makes me sad. Every family should eat together. It gives everyone a good opportunity to spend time together and see each other when they've all been going their separate ways all day.
When you do stuff with your family, you are able to get to know your family better and learn how to get along together. One of my favorite things that my family did and still do together is going camping. It is so awesome going camping with my family. I love it! We just go out somewhere with a pretty view in our camper and rest, play games, throw the Frisbee, go swimming, play with our dog, hike, laugh, sit around the campfire at night and tell jokes and stories, read..................................
There are tons of things to do! I like to get up early in the morning and drink coffee while watching the sun go up. Camping is so fun, and it provides a great opportunity to do things with your parents if they are always too busy to do stuff with you.
7) My Dad
My dad is probably the most influential person in my life. Even though I spend more time with my mom, my dad influences my life the most. Being a male, I need another male to look up to and learn from. He tells me stuff about being a man, and how he handled growing up. As I learn about how he handled growing up, I think of how strong hearted and wise he is, how much he's accomplished and how good of a father he is, and what to follow after his teaching so I can become the great man he is. As I have talked about how he teaches me how to live a good life, he also teaches me how to do all the things a male adult is responsible to do, like fixing a car, cutting down trees, making things, like a house, table, dog pin - things like that. I hope I grow up to be just like him.
8) To be young gifted and fortunate
You now know fractions of my life; you know my feelings, and my point of view. You know about my young life and my gifts of being able to fully function, but I have not really covered how fortunate I really am. My mom's mom and dad both married at a young age and were not Christians. My mom's dad was in gangs at a young age, he drank, smoked, gambled, all that rotten stuff that ruins your life, and my mom's mom drank and smoked too.
They were both traveling down that road headed for hell, when one day, they were told about Jesus Christ and how he died for our sins and they gave up all of their drinking, smoking, and gambling and became Christians. They asked Jesus to come into their hearts and save them from their sin and he did; he turned their lives around.
Well, my dad's parents weren't Christians either when they got married, and guess what, my dad's mom was 15 years old! My dad's dad was around 18 I'm pretty sure, and they were about to get a divorce, when one of their friends told them about Christ, and they became Christians too! Well, the two couples met and became friends. They all had their kids and their kids were teenagers when whoa! My mom became friends with my dad and a spark was sparked! Well, both my mom and dad got engaged with other people and almost got married to people they didn't love when they both decided their marriages wouldn't work. Then, a while later, my parents met again and they started going out and they got married. If it weren't for my grandparents becoming Christians, I either wouldn't be alive, or I wouldn't have the awesome Christian family I have.
My mom and dad are the best parents ever. They have always put us (My brothers and I) first and always like to do stuff with us. They don't drink or smoke or party or anything. They are the perfect parents and I am very thankful and fortunate to have them as parents.
And so I say, it is nice to be YOUNG, GIFTED, and FORTUNATE - very fortunate.