I Get it Mom

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            It is amazing to me how things change as you get older. Yesterday I spent about an hour reassuring one of our daughters that she was making all of the correct moves in her job and her life. She is just overwhelmed right now and can’t see the forest for the trees. What amazes me is that, once a rebellious teen, she now sees life for what it is: a continuum. At one point, a long time ago, I shared all of my best advice, even though at that time I was questioning a few “certainties” myself. I was certain she ignored me or let it go in one ear and out of the other. Today, however, I realize that she heard everything I said. What she needs now is reassurance. There are constants in life. There is good and bad. We need to focus on the good. There is only so much you can do in a day. That is all you can affect. Stop worrying, it’s counterproductive.

            Where did I get all of this wisdom? Much of it came from my parents. I didn’t know I was learning or that they were teaching. I remember one summer day when I was about twelve years old. My friends were all busy and I had nothing to do. My mom saw I was bored and was caught up on her housework. She suggested a bike ride. I had just learned how to make a fire in Boy Scouts and wanted to demonstrate. The Forest Preserves were a simple five to six mile ride. She was reluctant at first, but I talked her into it. I could always talk her into things.

            We rode through the neighborhood and passed my favorite store. It was the pet shop. It was wonderful. Not only did they have fish, puppies, kittens and lizards, but they had the city’s largest supply of penny candies. We had to stop for just a minute and about twenty cents worth of candy. You need your strength on a long trip, you know.

            We were now on the main street, 95th street. It was four lanes at that time, so we had to be careful. We peddled and talked about anything and everything. About a mile before the forest preserves we got to the town of Hickory Hills. It was aptly named. The three hills were huge. I could have easily ridden my bike up and down without much trouble. Mom was a different story. She was always in great shape. But great shape is different at twelve and over forty. We walked the bikes and continued our conversation.

            Finally, we got to the woods and I demonstrated my fire starting technique. Mom seemed amazed. Although I now know that she probably learned the same trick younger than me in her youth in Germany.

            We got back home without incident. We both had a great time, although she complained a little about her sore legs. The point which I am skirting around is that I always had open lines of communications with my parents. I learned so much as I grew without knowing that’s what I was doing. I think it is great to have parents who care and to not have to make all of your own mistakes. It is nice to learn from those who care about you and then pass it on to those you care about. Thus the continuum and the chain is unbroken.


Winter 2013 063 - Copy

With a little luck my last winter picture of the year.

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