Friday, January 06, 2006
Gee Whiz, Pop
My parents were Ward and June Cleaver
crossed with Billy and Ruth Graham.
Their lives revolved around their kids and church.
--Kathie Lee GiffordThese days it seems more and more difficult to find people who have good relationships with their parents. When I was growing up, I was never able to relate to the kids in school who claimed they hated their parents and were always bad-mouthing them. Even now when I hear people (particularly teenagers) whine or complain about one or both of their parents, I just want to slap them silly, particularly if I know that the parents in question are really good ones.
Granted, not everyone has good parents. It makes me sad that there are some adults out there who are really nothing more than selfish teenagers in a grown-up body. Just as much as I want to slap some sense into disrespectful teenagers, I also want to pinch the heads off (to use Dr. Laura's phrase) of idiot parents who don't know how to set a good example, or who don't care to involve themselves in their kids lives.
Certainly there were times when I was an arrogant teen who thought I could make decisions on my own. I made mistakes, I got in trouble, and it's because I had parents who cared enough about me to discipline me and correct me. I didn't get away with much of anything. My parents loved me enough to take a vested interest in helping me grow up in one piece, and I'm so thankful for that. We weren't a perfect family; we weren't without our problems and trials, but our family dynamic was dramatically shaped by the faith my parents professed, and the way they lived it out. It was truly a privilege to grow up in a Christ-centered home.
Last night my folks came down and took us out to dinner. Although they are still my parents, it's really a blessing to have reached a point with them where my husband and I can go out to dinner with them and feel like we're all on relatively equal footing. It's not so much a kid-parent relationship anymore. It's an older adult-younger adult relationship. Spending time with them is fun, and dare I say it, I consider my parents and my husband's parents my friends. I'm not entirely sure when that happened, but I like it. I'm pretty sure that this is the way things are supposed to go when you leave the nest and cleave to your spouse.***
Current mood: edgy
Current snack: pretzels
Emotional weather: light fog
Health-o-meter: 90% of baseline