June 11, 2008

Open Hearts, Open Plains

Preceded by Light in the Darkness

Abe and I are leaving today to camp for a few days in the high plains desert with Ben. It’s good: he wants us there. We will be meeting in his domain for the first time since he left so angry. We have yet to speak with each other, but we have communicated by letter. Ben wants to establish a good relationship with us once again. This is the first step in a long, arduous journey for all of us, but it’s a big step. We will be creating a new dynamic between all of us. It will be a time of truth; and with truth comes pain, release, and hope. Those of you who are so inclined, please pray for openness, trust, and laughter for all of us. (Those who are not so inclined are off the hook.)

While we are out there, I will be without my computer. (Deep breath. In. Out. In. Out.) But I will take pictures and keep notes so I can tell you about it upon my return. Meanwhile, let’s hear from you. I think I may need to hear this when I get back:

What did your parents do right?

Next: Amazing Grace


David said...

From my Dad:
-Taught me that anything worth doing is worth doing well
-fiscal responsibility
-always hold the door and give up the seat
-Devotion to family
-Provided his children with a spiritual foundation even though he had none himself
-the importance of health and regular check-ups (eyes, teeth, all of it)

From my Mom:
-A little etiquette and proper carriage go a long way
-Unconditional love
-how to fend for myself
-how to put on a brave face
-proper grammar and penmanship
-A love of and respect for my ethnic heritage

From both:
-a love of the arts
-an example of a lasting marriage that navigated plenty of bumps and twists

How's that?

bigislandjeepguy said...

first: all the best to you and the family. big alohas to you!

what my parents did right:

apologized for mistakes they made when we were kids when we finally became adults. sadly, i cannot tell you that i had a great childhood...it tooks years to heal wounds, but the apologizing (along with counseling) helped TREMENDOUSLY. i do not know that i learned trust from my father who trusted no one (but i go the other direction). i do not know that i learned communication from two people who fought constantly (i'm still working on that one). i do not know that i learned love from the very conditional kind.

i have said before, it is never too late to have a happy adulthood. i do not feel sorry for myself because of what my parents did or didn't do: i am responsible for my own happiness. i give you much credit for all of your efforts with your son!

Greg said...

Thoughts and prayers already heading in your direction, hopefully showering you with love, trust and laughter...but mostly love, because it's all you need, right?

I know that you'll find your way, the three of you, into the new relationships you need to forge.

And in the meantime, I'll give some thought to your question--the answer's not a simple one.

Sooo-this-is-me said...

They showed me how to respect others, those who deserve it that is.
The potty training thing comes in handy as well, also never lick your plate in case you do it in front of company!

It is a good sign if he wants to get closer to you, I hope everything goes well for you Birdie, good luck!

Patrick said...

Sending along prayers that this will be a time of healing... and that maybe it will prove to be a lot more fun than you're presently anticipating. No harm in asking, right?

Tough question to answer, or to answer succinctly, without sounding rather trite, but here goes. They gave me a love of books, good food, conversation, time with family, time by oneself, and dogs. They taught me that hard work is good for you, but it's also reasonable to seek out seek out (and hold out for) a job you love. They showed by example how beneficial it is to study new things no matter what your age, that being a beginner at something helps keep you young and flexible. I've already gone on too long, and could go on longer, but I'll stop here. I'll be thinking of you three this weekend. What other job besides parenting combines such difficulty and stakes with on-the-job training?

Java said...

My thoughts and prayers are with your family this weekend.

My parents loved me even when I was unlovable. And they never gave up on me.

Greg said...

I'm back. First, they taught me respect for myself and others. Also to appreciate the different people who make up the world. They taught me to love nature and learning and the value of exploring the world around you. I got the fiscal responsibility thing, too (kinda), but also an appreciation that money won't make you happy. There's the love of music, too, all kinds...and responsibility for pets...and the joy of good friendships and practical jokes.

I'm not sure I've gotten it in an order of importance...but pieced together, all those things helped me turn out to be a reasonably decent citizen of the world.

somewhere joe said...

Mine had the insight to mostly stay out of my way. But that's what I needed. Every child is different.

Hope your 'summit' with Ben marks a turning point in your family dynamic and relationship. Be strong.

Anonymous said...

They taught me what not to be. I learned to marry a man who loved children and didn't have a problem demonstrating that love. I learned to be a strong woman and stand up for myself and be an example to my daughters of strength not weakness.

My parents gave me tools that I could always use in my life, courage, resourcefulness and wisdom. Of course, they didn't know they were doing any of this, it was in spite of them, not because of them that these characteristics developed. I'm still grateful that I am who I am though, and in a weird (probably backhanded) way, thankful.

Birdie said...

Every one of these ideas is valuable to any parent at any age. There's a book in these combined comments. Thank you all for giving it such thought!

Java said...

bless you Birdie

Trailboss said...

My parents gave me unconditional love. I have only fond and loving memories of my chilhood. When I was a teenager I was given a lot of freedom to be myself. My mother tried to influence me into what she wanted but she quickly found out that I would not steer that way. I was loved, cared for, comforted and given my space which allowed me to grow up to be a strong and independent woman. I thank God for my parents.