Spending Time With Parents
There is an old saying that to be happy one must spend more time with those who are either under 10 or above 65. But when we grow up, we often find ways to avoid spending time with our parents even though we respect them. Socializing in our childhood days often led to trouble and our one-stop solution was Mom or Dad. Our parents answered all our queries patiently and allayed our anxieties and worries.
Today we have grown up and either distanced ourselves due to marriage, work (many of us work in cities that are not our hometowns) or our social circle from whom we constantly seek personal appreciation and validation. This social circle could be a virtual online one or a real one. Some of us living in other countries are left with no choice but to feel blessed for Skype and video chat to speak with our parents. However, there are many of us living near our parents or with them. Our parents usually deny that they need us. In fact, they often encourage us to take up opportunities that make us go far from them. Even if they are not happy, seeing our happiness, they send us with lots of blessings.
What our parents need from us is attention and real presence. Noticing their confusion, depression or helplessness with the insecurities or troubles of old age is slightly difficult for their impatient children. They do at times live in past memories or relive family stories. Why not surprise them by actually sitting with them and sharing their memories and nostalgia?
We can spend time with them, be it organizing/preparing a lunch or dinner on our precious weekly off. Alternatively, we can take them out for a movie. If our parents are very old and cannot go out, we can watch television at home with them or cook some of their favourite recipes (that should be healthy too). What we will experience is an evening full of warmth and security, giving us more happiness than any retail therapy.
Spending few hours often with our parents is better than meeting once for an annual vacation. Nevertheless, planning a vacation and spending few days together would be great as new happy memories get created.
Shopping with our Mom or a trip to the spa and pampering her will be a rich experience. Emotional unburdening of our troubles often happens as we connect and our mother becomes our best friend at these times.
Joseph Addison has said: "Certain is it that there is no kind of affection so purely angelic as of a father to a daughter. In love to our wives there is desire; to our sons, ambition; but to our daughters there is something which there are no words to express.”
As daughters, we have always asked our fathers for advice over careers or any practical issue throughout our teens. Emotional issues are not discussed generally. (We go to Mom then) We could connect with our fathers by sharing ideas on common interests and hobbies. Speaking to our Dad on his life experiences or his youth or parents and such more meaningful topics can help us understand and bond with him.
Let us not just remember our parents on certain occasions like birthdays and Father’s Day or Mother’s Day. Merely knowing our parents’ medications, supplements and their doctors’ names for emergencies or taking care of money matters does not make us good children. Understanding our parents and caring for them now matters too. And in this, we shall be enriched with their blessings.