E- Our Mom and Dad have been well portrayed in these many blogs as the original definition of 'parenting'. They were not the parents who doubled as friends for us. They were strict but fair (per their interpretation of fair). They cared for us to the very best of the abilities and always agreed on their shared parenting methods. Our childhood lacked gobs of affectionate hugging and cuddling. It did not overflow with emotion but maintained appropriate conservative celebrations.
My secretary and I were recently discussing our parents and her childhood memories couldn't be more different from mine. She and her Mom were best friends and talked every day, watched movies in bed, shopped together and remained very close until she passed away. She still tears up recalling the memories. I always listen closely and try to imagine doing those things with our Mom. I guess it would have been great, just like it was for my secretary. But as we ended our conversation she said to me "well E it's a blessing in disguise that you weren't best friends with your parents. You haven't really lost what you had with them".
Knowing that this would be my blog entry today, I woke up and couldn't shake the thought of the Beatitudes from my mind. It didn't make sense until I read St Gregory's take on the Beatitudes. He wrote 'perhaps the meaning of beatitude may become clearer to us if it is compared with its opposite. the opposite of beatitude is misery. Misery means being afflicted unwillingly with painful sufferings'.
Misery has never been a part of my past and it certainly isn't a part of my current situation. I know I have my parents to thank for that plus the many life lessons they instilled in us through out our time together. I also know we are teaching the Beatitudes to our boys with our own unique parenting methods and I hope they come away realizing that we too parented to the best of our abilities.