“The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you.”
– John E. Southard
“My son, keep your father’s commands, and don’t forget your mother’s teaching. Keep their words in mind forever as though you had them tied around your neck.
They will guide you when you walk. They will guard you when you sleep. They will speak to you when you are awake.
These commands are like a lamp; this teaching is like a light. And the correction that comes from them will help you have life.”
– Proverbs 6:20 -23
There are many things my parents said to me in my younger years that I haven’t forgotten.
Clean your room. Eat your vegetables. Ask your father. Don’t sass your mother. Be sweet.
The list goes on.
Perhaps one I remember best is one used often by my mother when something good had been done to me or for me and I was expected to give back in kind.
Or conversely, I may have done something horrid to my little sister and she’d just tried to one-up me on reciprocating.
“Turnabout’s fair play.”
Made sense then; makes sense now.
According to all the studies, I qualify as a Baby Boomer. I’m not certain of everything that means, but I know this graying group of which I am a part is a large one.
I did learn at Christmas last year something important many of us seem to have in common these days.
I received a card from a friend who wrote in response to something she’d read in my Christmas letter, “It’s amazing to see how many of us are now in the same boat, taking care of our elderly parents.”
Thinking of my own parents as elderly is not something with which I’m comfortable.
Why? Because to admit that is to admit I am only one generation away from elderly.
Denial seems so much simpler sometimes.
Still and yet, sharing a boat – that may or may not seem quite sea-worthy at times – with so many others means we are not alone.
And there is comfort in that.
When I think of all my parents have done for me, it’s a no-brainer.
We can start with the fact that without them, I’d not be in the world. That alone makes me owe them in a major way.
Then throw in all the care and feeding and nurturing when I was a baby. And I was no easy baby – there was a bout with colic I’ve heard about for years that made me a bit less than the perfect first child.
Add all the years of teaching lessons that, hopefully, were finally learned; and forking out cash for everything from braces and birthdays to college and Christmases – and a thousand things in between. Not to mention the love.
Even into my adult years, when times got tough, my parents were always there with a helping hand.
I have a younger sister, so multiply all that parenting by two.
And now the tables have turned; the roles have reversed. We always knew it would happen.
So we step up to try to adequately start the repayments.
How could we not?
Turnabout’s fair play.
Contact Leslie Criss at (662) 678-1584 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leslie Criss/NEMS Daily Journal