Among the many aphorisms my parents recited repeatedly was this gem:
This applied to the car my sisters and I borrowed from them as teens, the mountain cabin a neighbor let our family use, and even the playgrounds we’d visit. We were to return the car with a full tank of gas (even if we didn’t use it all), make sure the cabin was spic and span before we left (even if the floor was sooty when we got there), and pick up trash at the park (even if we didn’t generate it).
My parents continue to adhere to their own advice.
Like last year, Roger and I ran a conference recently at a mountain resort. My parents took over with Tessa and Reed, first while visiting my sister in Grand Junction and then at the resort while Roger and I worked.
Guess how my sometimes exasperating children behaved?
“They were WONderful!” my mom exclaimed when we reunited a the resort. “We didn’t have a single problem. They were fun and respectful and helpful and didn’t fight with each other at all.”
I had to clarify, slack-jawed, that we were still talking about MY children.
At the resort the whole lot of us attended a fancy conference meal, where Tessa and Reed were charming, obedient (!), and patient during the 3 hours it took to serve dinner. Any parent knows this is was quite a feat for them and a blessing for us.
Later while packing to go home, the children helped load up and did not fight at all, even though they wanted to stay in the mountain condo “forever” because they had a TV in their room. “OK, Mom!” was heard over and over again. Who WERE these children!? Had my parents made an unplanned stop in Stepford?
So not only did my children behave for my parents, their behavior improved while under my parents’ care. Mom and Dad returned Tessa and Reed better than they found them.
(And a happy 50th anniversary shout out to Mom and Dad — today!)
Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than aboutcreating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between.
Here’s a perfect moment from my week. I hope you’ll share yours, too.
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