Week Eight: Peter Combs

What was the biggest mistake you think you ever made and how did it change your life?
When I Renee and I began dating, I was still very much afraid of most people and avoided interacting with anyone as much as possible.  Despite this, I really tried to be respectful towards Renee’s parents.  At the time I thought that I was achieving that, but looking back I see now that my actions didn’t always reflect respectful tendencies. I think my attitude could have been a little better, but to be honest, I see it a lot in kids who are left to fend for themselves at an early age. Not that I am excusing my behavior, but I do think it explains it somewhat.
This was the problem: I looked like a kid, I reacted like a kid, I made decisions like a kid – and for good reason… I was a kid. But I had to work and support myself as an adult. I had to figure out which bills to pay when there wasn’t enough money to cover them all, something a kid shouldn’t have to do. When I didn’t know the answer to a question, that question was never answered. I was a kid, stuck in an adult’s world, and I was honestly trying to do the best that I could. For this reason, I think I had a hard time being treated like a kid. I think all of this, coupled with my awkwardness, came off as disrespect sometimes, and for that I am regretful.
I have to be completely honest; I don’t think that I would be as cool about a kid dating my daughter if he reminded me of myself at sixteen. I wasn’t a bad kid, in fact, I steered clear of anything that could get myself and Renee into any kind of trouble. But I was very backwards and had every red flag imaginable. I didn’t go to school. I couldn’t drive. My parents were in prison and I lived with my siblings without any type of parental supervision. There were many times when Renee would ditch her family to help me out during a time when no one else would; be it a drive home from work at midnight, or teaching me how to drive. I didn’t have a whole lot of pluses to speak of, and I know that her parents had their concerns. But when she and I decided to marry at 19 and 20 (another thing that I would freak out about as a parent), they were more than accepting. I worked at a pizza restaurant, and had zero education. And they welcomed me into their family. I don’t know that my behavior had a long lasting effect; if it did, it would be that I am not as close to them as I would like to be. Nevertheless, they have never made me feel like an outsider, and that says a lot about them. I am glad that they all gave me a chance, despite my rocky beginning.


Peter Combs is a 28 year old husband, writer and former foster child. He currently lives with his wife, Renee, in Atlanta, Georgia. Peter is the author of the blog Home.


One thought on “Week Eight: Peter Combs

  1. Pingback: Thursday’s Voice: Week Eight

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