Sunday, February 26, 2012

Lucky Daughter

My parents visited for a few days this week.  I was almost giddy before they came because Mom and Dad, who are approaching 70, are aaaammmmmaaazing.  Finally in my forties I have learned to truly appreciate them.  Besides the fact that my father usually falls asleep on the couch before 8pm, newspaper in hand (which I think is kind of cute), they can usually run circles around me.
They come to spend time with their grandchildren and to help our family out with things that we can of course do but our busy working schedules don’t always allow the time for.  So stuff happens like every bit of laundry is done, socks sorted, and light fixtures cleaned.  They replace burnt out bulbs, bake homemade bread, and stock my pantry with home-grown canned tomatoes and other jars of yummy foods.  At night they help my kids with homework and usually reward them with a game of cards before bed. 
At one point we did have a chance to take them out for dinner and I reflected on the wisdom they have shared throughout my years.  The two values that I grew up with and appreciated even at a young age were the importance of health and education.  As a child I could have any book I wanted and they encouraged me to take art and music classes for fun.  My father was a runner and a yogi and my mother grew an acre of gardens every summer, canning and freezing for the cold months.  Our vacations were centered around places with good bike or ski trails or sometimes around one of my Dad’s marathon destinations.
But Mom said something this weekend that really made me think more than usual.  She wasn’t trying to be wise or even teach a lesson.  I had commented on the new birds at my feeders and she stated that she believed that people experience real fulfillment when they connect with nature.  She went on to say that the younger generation is so technology focused that they don’t take time to connect with the beauty of being outside in her opinion, leading to much inner discontent. (Meanwhile, my children are milling around the kitchen with a set of new headphones plugged into an iPhone and I’m feeling a little sheepish).  At the same time that message must have seeped into my brain at some point in my life because I know I am at my best when I’ve been spending a lot of time outdoors.
As summer approaches, I take solace in the fact that our family will experience that connect with nature every single day on Madeline Island.  This mild but somewhat dreary winter will mean our summer will be that much sweeter. When my parents visit we will take them to our favorite trails, bike routes, and kayaking the sea caves.  My father will golf and my mother will tell me how if I move certain flowers and plants I will have better luck with my gardens (on this one I will dutifully listen but know that I did not inherit the gardening gene).    And they will probably drop some more valuable tidbits of knowledge into my lap reminding me again of how lucky I am to have them.

1 comment:

  1. Amy
    Thank you for your kind words. They warm my heart and remind me of how very lucky I am to have such a great family with 4 kids and 9 grandkids. You think dad and I do things for you but what you might not realize is the gift of graditude and love you give us. Thanks Love Mom


Thanks for your comments!