At a recent gathering…..Someone said we live a “settled for life”.
The comment was said with a smile but, in a snide undercutting tone ….that we are stagnating here in the Midwest. Lacking “culture” that only the west coast hustle & bustle can provide.
Where People really LIVE!
Where there is opportunity and action!
That we raised our children with the crutch of Faith, and closed their minds to new opportunities. That they were raised in the sticks. There were other mocking comments made, I’m sure with good intentions about things that needed to change in our adult children's lives.
So they did not end up like we are.
I bit my tongue for the most part……and if you know me at all……. well, I‘m sure your shocked. It just was not the time or place to respond. I was angry, very, very hurt & felt like I had taken a verbal slap.
And now, after a lot of thought (and yes a lot of prayer) I’m so glad I did not respond.
Because although they may have listened…… but I don’t believe they would have heard
But it made me think, were we wrong in some of the choices we made? Possibly, what parent hasn’t wanted a situational “do-over”…decisions were made in the best interests of our children’s lives.
No, we didn’t give them every “thing” they wanted. We gave them a lot of love, security….what they needed.
We taught them how to Pray, work & earn what they wanted.
Yes they saw us struggle at times, but they learned some things are worth struggling & fighting for.
Cars, they had when they bought them. Driving is a adult responsibility, its a privilege that comes with age & maturity. If your not mature enough to work & save for the car, your not mature enough to drive. Don’t ask to use the one I worked and saved for. As adults they understand a car is not who you are. A car is a tool, and take care of them as such.
It always amazed me how many things they chose not to buy with their own money
No we don’t live in a large well decorated Mc Mansion. Could we now? Yes, but we choose to live in the home we created with our family. No, Its not ever eat off the floor clean, and often very cluttered. But we live here. Curl your nose at my well loved furniture & hand written growth charts on the panty door. My art work is not framed & matted, its drawings on construction paper taped on the refrigerator door.
Yes we were controlling parents. we wanted to know where they were, who they were with and what they were doing. And, God help you if you lied. Its called love, caring, responsible parenting.
Yes we were mean parents, super was ready when the chores were done….and don’t think of coming to the table until they were.
Yes we gave them the gift of letting them make mistakes and fall down… but,…they learned how to stand back up and recover from bad choices… in the safety net of a loving family. As adults that gift has served them well.
Yes we made them perform community service. From soup kitchens, to community park revamps, assisting in creating a literacy center, yard work for elderly who no longer could. Why? because there are those who can’t & they learned to be thankful for the abilities and gifts they had…& know how blessed they are. It was so terrible they all continue community service in one was or another as adults
Yes we say Grace over our non gourmet meals, and everyone is expected to add at least 2 things in which they are thankful. Some how family always takes the top of the list.
Yes we “uncultured hicks” know there are thousands of brands of wine. But if we only enjoy 5-6 why would/should I purchase the others “just to have them”?
No we did not visit a lot of City museums and art galleries through the years. We visited Gods. Nature has provided the most wondrous & satisfying color pallet thru our “gym” Camping, swimming, boating, hiking, bicycling, nature…up close & personal.
Yes we are more comfortable in our polo’s or shorts than we are heels and ties. But we chose these garments years ago when we walked away from the suits & ties. But, they are still in the back of the closet when we need them.
Yes, They were raised to stand firm in a foundation of Faith & know God.
They understand that although they are loved and highly valued, the world does not revolve around them.
Yes they were taught not to judge a person by the color of skin, clothing or situation…but by the heart. They also learned to respect another’s ways and cultures. Even if it was not theirs.
We know our neighbors by name. Do you? Would they show up on your door step at 3-4 am because the lights are on saying what’s wrong and how can I help?
Would they come close your garage door for you because you left it open in your rush to get to work that morning?
That the view from my backyard is different than yours doesn’t make it wrong...it just makes it different. I can deal with the different choices made……can you?
Settle for life style? Well, maybe so. We are happy. We like where we live and what we do and take pride in it. We have friends that would be there & I mean truly be there for us in minutes if we called, others that would show up because they knew we needed help. Unconditionally, without any expectation. That’s the type of friends our children are.
We raised strong children. Who make their own choices. Live their own lives. Do we nudge, suggest, sure were human.
Yes they know no matter where they go or what they do unconditional love and support are only a phone call away
I thank God for this “settled for life”….That we raised our children with the love of Faith, and opened their minds to new opportunities. That they were raised in the sticks.
If my Adult children are hicks because they say please & thank you or Ma’am & Sir when they address an elder or someone they respect, hold a door open, help someone with grocery bags, are educated, hardworking, respected members of society…..
Then quite possibly being a uncultured hick in the sticks is a good thing.