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.