If you read about Mother’s aversion to most parenting advice from Dr. Spock and her frequent confusion of child-rearing expert Dr. Spock and Star Trek’s half-human, half-Vulcan Science Officer Mr. Spock, then you know parenting was not her strong suit. In fact, she had zero cards in the game of parenting, unless it was a full house of jokers.
One of my personal favorite quotes from Dr. Spock is:
The child supplies the power but the parents have to do the steering.
This was again not something our mother believed or practiced. Quite the opposite. She used more of a “sink or swim” approach. Either you survived or you didn’t. None of this namby-pamby, feel good, concerning yourself with the child’s self image for Mother. No. With Mother, it was how about:
Let’s not play games and I will concern myself with me. You and your sister need to figure it out. Sink or swim!
Now Dad was, luckily for us, the polar opposite. He not only steered our lives, he was the captain of the ship. He had the tools necessary and the love to teach us to believe in ourselves. Dad also raised us to know that the sky was the limit. Never one to destroy our dreams, he was the voice of reason with a flair for fun. Laughter was our daily medicine and we always had a big dose when we were together. Dad also taught us not to dwell on negative happenings so when my sister and I were with Dad we did not sit around in a pity party of doom and gloom.
Our dad’s adventures were life lessons. Learning about science and nature, how to fish, story telling, love for reading, swimming in lakes whether Lake Michigan, Lake Decatur or Lake of the Woods and always, always, the importance of family. Our fun times often did not involve spending money but were more valuable than any amount of gold.
They say how you spend your time speaks volumes about what you hold dear.Well, my sister and I knew that Dad held us dear and continued to for all his time here on Earth.