“When i grow up i will never make my kids go to bed when they don´t want to!”
My six year old whines to me as i tell her it´s past bed time. I can still remember those things myself. When your parents set up rules or make you do stuff you don’t want to. I grew up just where the river of Luleå hits the Bay of Bothnia. My father always went fishing by net up stream and all winter the icebox was filled with fresh white fish and trout. Today a luxury, but then, for a kid aged ten a nightmare. I swore i would never make my kids eat fish. Did i keep that oath?
Of course not! It´s funny how life turn out and what makes us who we are. We work our asses of trying to raise our kids right. We read books about parenting. There are TV-shows and thousands of websites on the subject. Yet our kids will turn out pretty much just like us, their parents. I don´t see myself as some kind of expert on the subject. But as a son, and a father these things start to spin in my mind.
Let me walk you through the few steps of becoming the thing you promised you´d never be. First, grow up! Sooner or later you will become an adult. You will start to hang out with the grownups on grownup terms and adult actions is expected from you. Second, become a parent yourself. This is where it starts to get interesting. All of a sudden you’ll start to hear your parents words. But they’re coming from your own mouth. “Fish is healthy and make you smart” “Put your jacket on the hanger” “NO shoes inside!” The transformation is nearly complete. The third is the worst, but inevitable. One day you will loose them. When growing up the thought of your parents dying is just unthinkable. Yet they will and you will manage. Nine years ago i lost my father to cancer. He was my best friend, business associate and role model. Losing my backup, the one i always could go to if i had some trouble made me realize it´s up to me now. I´m at the top of the scale. I need to step up and take responsibility.
My biggest sorrow is that dad never got to meet my kids or their mother. I met her six months after his passing. Still it feels like they do, every day through me. It´s a comfort those days when you feel like you are failing as a parent, and honestly, that’s pretty often. The kids will turn out alright.
I know i did…
Today dad would have turned 82 if cancer didn´t robbed him from us.
However, mum is still around. Strong as an ox at age 79. She´ll probably outlive us all.
In her eyes i´ll always a little baby boy no matter how grown up and mature i feel. Of course she also have made a big impression on me.
But that is a different story.