Thanksgiving is behind us and the Christmas decorating is in full force, but I am still enjoying some sweet Thanksgiving memories.
- Preplanning via texts with my daughters about who’s bringing what. I love that they are funny, capable women who can multitask with the best.
- Fixing the dressing for the forty-sixth time with the love of my life who is also a great cook.
- Playing card games with the grandkids and visiting as we play a heated game of Hand and Foot.
- Sitting around the table with people who mean the most in the world to me.
- Watching Matt take the hand of the nearest family member and walk them to the kitchen for some tea or chocolate cake anytime he feels like it. With profound disabilities, he still knows he can count on them for the good stuff.
- Sitting with family in front of the TV after dinner to cheer for our favorite team.
- Kissing them goodbye as they happily go back to their busy lives and Don and I prop our feet up and have a quiet cup of coffee.
We enjoy our daughters and their husbands. They are people we would choose for friends even if they weren’t family. When they were growing up, we weren’t their friends. We were their parents and sometimes they didn’t like us.
Now I watch them parent their own kids. They laugh, they scold, they tease, they counsel, but they don’t let go of the authority role parents have to maintain. They expect respect and they get it.
They take their parenting roles seriously. It isn’t fun to enforce curfews and bedtimes or to check on homework and grades, but they do it anyway because it helps their children succeed.
Walter E. Williams, a professor of economics at George Mason University, writes a weekly editorial that appears in our local newspaper. Today he wrote, “Whether a student is black, white, orange or polka-dot and whether he’s poor or rich, there are some minimum requirements that must be met in order for a child to do well in school.
Someone must make the student do his homework. Someone must see to it that he gets eight to nine hours of sleep. Someone has to fix him a wholesome breakfast and ensure that he gets to school on time and respects and obeys teachers. . . . .If those basic requirements aren’t met, whatever else is done in the name of education is for naught.”
In her journal mother wrote, “We need the help of those who can enlarge our vision and broaden our prospective; people who help us learn from their experiences.”
It is a fortunate child whose parents will do just that.