Saturday, March 27, 2010

"They Are so Lucky to Have You"

I have heard this a few times this past week from people who are impressed that I'm caring for my parents during their health crises. It always kind of surprises and saddens me. Every aging person should have someone who cares enough about their welfare to help them, but so many have no one. I don't necessarily feel like I "owe" it to my parents because that makes it sound like I'm a reluctant helper. It's more like a great opportunity that I have to return the love and care they gave me as I was growing up. So really, my desire to help them speaks mostly to how great they were as parents when I was young. You see, I was so lucky to have them. What was so great about them? I'll just list some highlights:

1. They both had high expectations for me and raised me to believe I could do anything I wanted to with my life.
2. They spent time with me--reading to me, playing with me, taking me places, watching my "performances."
3. They loved me even when I was unlovable.
4. They taught me not to harbor prejudices or see people as stereotypes.
5. They raised me to be (mostly) independent. (I still haven't changed my own oil or tires or mowed the lawn).

My sister is very different from me but equally loved. She helps as much as she can but has less "flexibility" in her work and family than I do. They are lucky to have her, too. So am I. My goal is to give my boys the same kinds of love my parents gave us, even though they are very different from each other, too.

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