When you become a parent and your children are small, you think: “one day they will be grown and I will not worry so much about them getting hurt, or being sick. I won’t have to worry about the day to day things, or whether they are eating right or taking their Flintstone vitamins.” You find along the way that this philosophy is incorrect. You never quit being a parent. You never quit being a child.
I think I fought my Dad and Mom tooth and nail on this manner of thinking. Yet, up until the week my Dad died, he was still asking me how I was feeling…how was work going? Was I getting enough sleep…was the stress getting to me? “I’m feeling Ok, work is work, I’m sleeping lousy as always, and yes things are stressful” “Well,” he said, “try and take care of yourself” and then the next week, he was gone…..
I guess there is no more unique relationship than that of a parent and a child. It can go good, and it can go bad, and it can be somewhere in between most of the time. It’s like a game of tennis you don’t finish until someone is no longer there to hit the ball back over the net. You find yourself getting so used to that relationship sometimes that you take it for granted. Really, I guess most of the time. That’s something you will probably live to regret…as a child…or as a parent.
I have done fairly well since my folks died back in 2010…I have stayed conscious of the fact they were gone up until one day last week. I was thinking about one of Dad’s cousin’s wife having passed away, and was wanting to go see the cousin. “I’ll have to ask Dad how to get to his house…” I started to think….and then…I found that I had slipped up. “I don’t think he would answer me” I muttered.
But..you never know, as my wife told me. Not with that man. He might answer me still! A lot of times we have things that are moved around out of their “normal” spot, or something is running that we are just SURE we turned off. My wife will say: “Tarpy did it” “Yep,” I say “playing another practical joke” He loved to tease and poke at ya’, and would laugh like mad if he got you.
So…as I child or as a parent, take all the chances you have to talk. Just talk. It doesn’t have to be anything monumental or deep. Just conversation.