Road trip the other day, satellite radio…listening to Cats in the Cradle with its famous lyrics of reaping what you sow and what is it you want to reap in life? Are you planting the right things today for what you want to harvest tomorrow?
I always felt sad for the father in this song who wasted his child’s life. The dad spent all his time working or doing other things, things he wanted to do, instead of paying attention to his son and enjoying precious moments with him.
I was, and am, thankful for every moment our parents spent absolutely goofing off with us. There were chores, there were rebellions, (I’m a redhead) and there were screaming battles and fights between us three children so close in age. I know that, but what I choose to remember is the fun. Ohmigosh, did we have fun.
We played badminton over the clothes line—usually when Mom’s clean laundry was not drying on it. We wanted to play tennis, so Dad plowed and scraped and packed part of the old hay field and we had a tennis court. When we were done with that, it became a field again.
We had challenging croquet matches (Dad was usually the winner) and spent time lying on our backs in the yard so Dad could challenge us with, “What does that cloud look like? And that one?” Mom taught us to play card games and Scrabble (she massacred us every time) and made sure we had books to read.
Did we have money? Not much extra. But there was always enough food, always enough clothing. We never wanted for “stuff.” But more than any of those things, we had our parents’ attention.
With them gone too long now, isn’t it great that we kids choose to remember the happiness and not the typical gripes and grievances of being kids and having parents making it up as they went along the way most parents do? Isn’t it great to have memories of our folks being active in our lives versus vying for attention against a parent distracted by things?
I’m grateful this Thanksgiving for what our parents gave us: unconditional love.