Personal Childhood Web

John Holutiak Jr. is my father and was in the military while I was growing up. Although he was away a lot because he was an Infantry man there was still plenty of time for me and my sisters. I was a daddy’s girl and the oldest. So everything that would have been taught to a son was taught to me. He has made me a very strong, independent woman. When he was not in the field I was most likely right there by his side, whether it was learning how to ride my bike, catch a football or baseball, or just walking around the barracks with him. As for encouraging me to be independent, he still does. He taught me how to take care of myself and my family. He was never around when it was time to move, so guess who was in charge to help my mother pack and unpack. My father has taught me that there is nothing I cannot do for myself if I want it bad enough. When I was young I used to think that he was too hard on me but as an adult I now understand that I was the oldest and he depended on me to help when he was not around. I thank him for this because I very rarely ask for help and I am very capable of getting things done on my own. Thank you, Daddy for making me the strong, independent woman I have become.

Marie Holutiak is my mother and was my major influence when it comes to my love for children. My mother has done home daycare and worked in a center. We were always surrounding by children and love. She is now an Infant Supervisor at the center she works at. She has been there since my father retired over 10 years ago. She has been my inspiration for perseverance. My mother has taught me that no matter what the obstacle or what you are told if you believe you can succeed then you will. My mother has cerebral palsy and epilepsy. She was strongly advised against having children that it could kill her but there are 3 of us to prove them wrong. Despite her limitations she is an excellent infant teacher and is the Supervisor of her mixed aged classroom (6wks-2yrs). She has helped two centers become NAEYC accredited, a military center and the center she currently works for. She did not graduate high school but she has received her CDA and has received her apprenticeship. I have also learned how to be a good mother and always put my family first. She was the force that held us together with my dad always being together. My mommy continues to be my guiding light. Even as an adult she is always there for me and my sisters whenever we need her no matter what she is doing.

Evelyn Johnson (Mama J) is my Godmother and has been the “law enforcer” in my life. She is the person who kept me in line when my dad was not around. She also worked for the JAG office on base so she had connections to scare me into acting right. I was not a perfect child and I could have been worse but Mama J was always right there to back up my mom or catch me before my mom did. She had 3 children of her own and was a single mother and made sure that no matter what all 6 of us were up and properly dressed to attend church on Sunday mornings. To this day Mama J is still a major influence in my life. She is the one who helps me gut check decisions if I am unsure of the outcome. Instead of stressing out my mother, Mama J will sit up and help point out the pros and cons to a situation but ultimately make you make the decision. She is the one who kept us all in line as kids and now as adults.

Brenda Posey was a teacher I had in high school. I know that I was really not a child anymore but she taught my child education class, along with my home economics class. As I was trying to take the easy way out my last two years of high school, Mrs. Posey made me really think about what I wanted to do. I was constantly babysitting and was greatly enjoying her child education class. She would even take us over to the base center once a week and we were assigned to different classrooms to observe and obtain information about. I of course was assigned to the toddler room and I guess you can say it was a wrap from there (since I work with toddlers). Mrs. Posey was that easy going teacher that you talk to but yet stern enough to keep you on track and constantly thinking.
I thank her for furthering my knowledge on young children and making me think. She was an inspiration and helped to guide me in the path I took working with children.

DeCarlo Joyner, my best friend, was always a big influence in my life. He would support me even if he thought the decision I was making was not the right one. Then he would be there to help pick up the pieces. I was always able to count on the fact that he would be honest with me even if he knew we were going to disagree. He pushed me to go back to school when I had million reasons not to he countered each one of them with a solution or a better reason. I lost him this past May and I miss him dearly. I know he is still there supporting me because this may sound dumb but I cannot delete him from my phone or facebook and when I am wishing he was here to talk to his picture shows up in my friend rotation at the top as if to say I am still here.


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. rrjmo2
    Sep 25, 2011 @ 23:46:37

    Hi April,

    First I would like to say, I am sorry for the loss of your best friend. I am glad he encouraged you to go back to school.

    I do recall the times that our family had to pack up and get the quarters clean. Like you mentioned, though our fathers were serving the country, they still made time for the family. My father too was in the Military. The one thing like you said was taught was independence.


  2. phoenixeducator
    Sep 25, 2011 @ 23:47:21

    Thank you for sharing your personal web! It looks like you had outstanding parental models in your life that have helped you become a strong woman and parent.


  3. Sharee Mitchell
    Sep 26, 2011 @ 00:50:53

    I think that it is wonderful that it was a teacher that pushed and encouraged you to get out of your comfort zone and find what more life has in store for you. Thanks for sharing your childhood web!


  4. mrskto
    Sep 26, 2011 @ 02:05:46

    While reading your web, tears came to my eyes. I thought about my very own daughter. She is the only child and is very much going through some of the dame things that you did. We’ve moved several times and guess what? We did it alone. Each time my husband was deployed. Being a soldiers wife has taught me a lot. It is teaching my daughter a lot as well. She is very independent and is a little 6 year old lady.
    Each time my husband is home, he tries to teach her something different to say, “daddy taught her that”. Being part of the military can be stressful and beneficial at the same time. I hope that my little girl grows up to be as independent a you. 🙂


    • adpettis4
      Sep 26, 2011 @ 04:04:57

      It can be very stressful but like you said beneficial at the same time. As a child I often resented that we had to move so often but now as an adult I get antsy because we have been in the same place for so long. Moving around just becomes a part of life, so every 3 or 4 years I redecorate the house in order to have a change. My husband dreads when I do this because it usually means we are painting or putting up wallpaper also and he cannot stand to do these things.

      I hope that your daughter grows into the woman you want her to be. I am hoping that my daughter grows to be strong and independent also. She has three older brothers though that she has learned how to manipulate though. 🙂


  5. The Love For Children
    Sep 26, 2011 @ 03:08:25

    Hey April, how does having to uphold the role as being the oldest child and leading to a depending factor in supporting your mother and sister? With me being the only child I would think I have hold this position in order to keep dad looking up to me as the supporter of the family, I can not fail this role. I would be stressed.


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