With my daughter’s third birthday on the horizon and my son’s eighth birthday not yet a distant memory I recently began to reflect on my own childhood.
Of the many things I thought of was the lessons my parents tried to teach me when I growing up. It has taken some time for me to learn these lessons, but I can now honestly say I’m glad that I listened.
My parents were a unique couple. Mom is an especially fashionable woman who is the glue that holds us all together; my dad was a versatile man who wore a tie five days a week until 4 p.m. and then changed into his farm clothes to finish the day. Dad passed away four years ago and not a day goes by that I don’t think of something that I learned from watching him. Mom continues to teach me new things every time I look around.
They taught me to never burn a bridge, because you might need to go back across it one day.
Dad taught me if you forget where you came from, how would you know where you are going. I can proudly say he never forgot where he came from, so he always knew where he was going.
Mom taught me when life gives you lemons make lemonade and if it’s really sour add a little something extra too it. She taught me that God would never give you more than you can handle, but that sometimes it will as though he greatly over estimates us. She taught me that no matter how bad you feel, get up put on your make-up, fix your hair and don’t let the world know how bad it really is.
They taught me to never go to bed mad at your spouse. Don’t let your spouse leave for work without saying I love you and mean it because you might not get the chance again.
Eat your meals with your family at a table. Talk about the day and what you did while eating your meal. They set a perfect example of how a marriage and a family should be.
I was taught how to sacrifice for what you really want, be polite, respect your elders and smell the flowers even if they were growing out of the top of the tobacco stalk you just topped.
But the greatest lesson they ever taught me was that if never say it, you never have to say you’re sorry for it and sorry doesn’t take away the hurt- people may forgive but they won’t forget.
As I watch my children grow and begin to learn the importance of listening to their parents, I pray that I can raise my children with the knowledge and morals they will need.
I pray that I will do as my parents did and lead by example.