“I never want to be like my parents!” I hear that so often, hell I said it myself. But, I was so wrong! I am proud to say I am very much like my Mother AND my father in many ways. This popes into my wondering thoughts this morning as I sat and meditated.
I was thinking about the difference between today’s parents and the way they discipline children and the way my mother and father did, and then I did when it was my turn.
People today would SO think my mom and dad was being abusive if they heard them say; “If you don’t stop I am going to sell you to the gypsies!” We 5 children knew very well neither parent really meant they were going to sell us, or even give us away.
Both parents showed us love every day. Not the cuddle you, tell us they loved us every other minute they loved us, and let you run free and do whatever you wanted. But, they made sure we were fed, taught us right from wrong, went to bat for us if they thought we were being hurt or being treated unfairly even if it was one of our own siblings.
I admit my mother was mostly the one going to bat for us because she was the one who did most of the discipline.
However, they both taught us hard work and to face up to anything we did wrong no matter how small it might be and to make it right. Our father and mother taught us our word was our bond if you promised something or shook on a deal you damn sure was going to keep your word cause your name meant something, not only to you but the rest of your family and ancestors who came before you.
They also were gentle with us when we were hurt. But spoke very bluntly. They afraid to treat each of their kids different than another of their kids, cause they knew no two person is exactly alike and that goes for children. Some need more freedom, others need more guidance. Some need a tighter grip and harder discipline, others just need a look and three words said: “I’m so disappointed”.
I laugh cause I have reacted to my grand daughter and even my cats as my parents did with us, and in return I found myself reacting to my daughter as she was growing up, and have had my wife who is 12 years younger than me and from a totally different area react in shock.
It isn’t anything for me to respond with; “stop being a little shithead” or “You are being an ass hole right now”. We were taught, I taught my daughter and I hope my daughter teaches her daughter, ” I love you but don’t love your actions right now!” Or “I love you but not really liking you right now”
Because it is ok to teach your kids it is possible to love someone but not to love their actions or even like them, but it doesn’t mean you are going to stop loving them or even stop ever liking them, just while they are doing the assolish actions, or as young children so they can separation between you loving them and not liking their actions. That they are not bad, their action is bad.
Thinking over all this, I have to really say thank you to my parents! Because if it weren’t for them, and for the life I lead on the farm. I
really think I be I’ll equipped to handle the chronic illness that has struck, the constant pain that racks my body. Because of them I know how to fight this evil that attacks me and never give into it. But even more, thanks to them I have a great relationship with my own daughter.
Thanks, mom and dad for being the parents you were!