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Raising Mom & Dad




My dad turned 78 yesterday. I bought him a pair of good quality, name-brand tennis shoes. I've had shoes of the same brand before and I really liked them, so I had a happy little feeling in getting my dad a good, sturdy pair of shoes to replace the discount-store junk he usually wears.


I and my siblings have purchased tons of toys and accessories for Mom and Dad: A self-propelled lawnmower, a kayak, a gym membership, trendy clothes & jewelry, etc. I don't resent it; in fact I enjoy getting them things they want or need and never have had. I do realize, however, that I'm gleefully doing what most parents gleefully do for their children: go purchase that something special and watch in suspense while they open it, then feel the joy of their surprise or gratitude. (Okay-- I know all children do not respond this way. But I think that for the most part their parents wish they would.)



So, I'm raising a set of parents. They never bought me stuff. I had no toys other than hand-me-downs, and clothes were the same way. If I dared ask for something, I was shot down. There were six kids in the family, so there wasn't much money for anything extra. Although I enjoy giving my parents the things they couldn't give me, something feels a little off. It also feels off when I still have to go cut their grass every week.


If only parents went off to college.



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