One man's view of the world, from the top of this great big rock somewhere in the middle of God's Country, with an eye toward freedom....or at least some way to get back down without goin' over the edge.

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Location: West Virginia, United States

Former U.S. Army, SPC E-4, Veteran of Operation Desert Storm. If you are or have ever been a soldier, you have friends in my house.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

They Could Never Do Enough....But They Damn Well Tried: Thanks, Mom and Dad

Friends, I read an article this morning that reminded me of something I'd almost forgotten about...

Well, that's not true, actually. I've never forgotten it.
The more truthful way to put it would be this....I've always known it, but it hasn't really been in the forefront of my mind until just now. (Bear with me, o faithful ones. We'll get to the article in due time.)

Our parents REALLY loved us. (Me and my brother's, that is.)

Dad was an Air Force officer and world-class Boy Scout, Mom was a no-nonsense farm girl from Iowa, and they BOTH knew what they were about: raising two boys to be honest, fruitful, and compassionate young men.

And that ain't easy when you get saddled with a couple of weirdos like us.

How did they do it? Simple...they rewarded us when we deserved it, punished us when we deserved it, and did their damnedest to teach us something every single time they did it.

Our family travelled a lot when we were kids and, as most military brats can attest, this meant that it was hard for us to make and keep friends sometimes. Our folks made up for that by dedicating more than the lion's share of their lives to getting out and doing fun stuff with us---and making sure they knew what we were up to as much as possible.

This meant knowing who our friends were, and treating them with respect---and expecting the same in return, and usually getting it. (And, as a by-product, THAT meant we eventually worked our way around to making some pretty high-quality friends, some of whom we are still in touch with today. Aspiring parents---take note.)

This ALSO meant that when we screwed up, we KNEW it. Because THEY knew it. And on those relatively rare occasions, we had to work back up to their trust afterwards. (I would also submit that they knew when we were really trying, and so they didn't usually have to keep us in the doghouse all that long.)

In short....against all the odds, they got the job done and then some.

I ain't sayin' we're perfect. But I AM saying that I like to think a lot of it rubbed off.
And I hope like hell that I grow up to be half the parent my parents were.

"What article was it," I hear you cry, "that sparked this beauteous tribute to Mom-and-Dad-ability?"

This none other than Orson Scott Card. (Yes, THE Orson Scott Card.)

Read on....and see how much of it makes sense to YOU.