Tag Archives: health

Raising your parents

If you are anywhere near my age bracket (we’ll just call it middle age) you likely have experienced or will soon begin to experience a reversal in the relationship with your parents. I often said during the 8.5 years that my husband’s mother lived with us that we were “raising a mother-in-law.” We never had children of our own so this was really a first for us in the parenting department. Sure, we have raised dogs, but providing a proper upbringing for your parents is an entirely different thing altogether.

When my husband’s mother moved out a couple of years ago I was ecstatic. I imagined myself to be like many moms who have fresh cans of paint ready and waiting to makeover their kids’ rooms when they finally go off to college.

My husband and I have been empty nesters for two years now and I had almost forgotten what it was like to rear your parents in the way that they should go, that is until a wedding this past weekend that brought many family members together. Everything was going reasonably well until most of us parted ways. My husband was really worried about his dad and step-mom, both of whom are well into their 80s, when they set out for the four hour drive home. The conversation went something like this:

My husband: It is 4 p.m., dad. Do you really think you should be setting out this late in the day?

Dad: We’ll be fine.

Me: Perhaps you two should change out of your tux and evening gown before you leave.

Dad: We’ll be fine.

My husband: Do you have our cell number?

Dad: We’ll be fine.

Later that evening…

My husband: I’m really worried about them; I better call.

Dad: I’m not sure how it happened but we ran out of gas on the way home.

What my husband wanted to say: But didn’t I tell you to always have at least a half tank of gas in the car? YOU ARE GROUNDED!

Photo by Neil. Moralee, 2012, Flickr Creative Commons

I have many stories I can share about those “teen” and “prepubescent” years with the parents we have been raising, but it may be some time before I can share those…you know with the whole protecting the names of the innocent thing.

I hope this post does not seem disrespectful in any way. But what I learned most from raising a mother-in-law those 8.5 years is that without a sense of humor you cannot survive parenthood, especially when you are parenting your parents!

Until next time, live like you mean it!

Karen

Advertisements

Trophies in the life of an adventurer

Living life to the fullest, I’m learning, is not all fun and games. But it is the fun that keeps me coming back. I admit that I’m not as young as I used to be. My husband reminded me of that yesterday after I started the day by getting my car stuck in a ditch at the beginning of the day and coming home with a severe sunburn at the end of the day. He said, “You just can’t keep doing this to yourself.”

“Doing what,” I exclaimed as if I had no idea what he was talking about.

Granted, I am still in great pain and can’t laugh or cough without causing severe pain to my abdominal muscles following a slip-n-slide party with many of my 40 and 50 something friends this week. There were a few juniors at the party but I think we showed them how it was done! The slip-n-slide was great fun and I enjoyed comparing grass burns with another slip-n-slide competitor who had fewer wounds to show than myself, and she is 20 years my junior! That was a proud moment for me, I must admit. : )

To my friends and family who wonder what has happened to me: I am starting to wonder about you… Perhaps you are suffering a little dementia. I am the same girl who broke her collar bone at age 2 while trying to climb a chest of drawers to get her shoes so she could go to school with her sister. I am the same girl who re-broke that collar bone a few years later pretending to ice skate in the living room (sure that was Lana’s fault for swinging me into the couch but I don’t blame her; it’s just another trophy for the life of an adventurer). And don’t forget I am the same girl who spent 47 days in the hospital after taking a thrill ride on a neighbor’s mini-bike at age 14. My competitive spirit has also landed me some other trophies over the years. I will always remember the time I broke my middle finger playing softball and still continued playing with the plastic guard on my finger. I took great pleasure in going up to bat with that middle right finger standing straight up, taunting the pitcher each time I stepped up to the plate the rest of that season. And you may not remember this one: the time at Ball State when I broke my toe playing badminton.

Maybe living life to the fullest isn’t exactly a safe bet, but living the life of someone who lives in fear is not me and never will be. Sure, I try to learn from my mistakes. The biggest lesson this month: it’s okay to scream with your mouth wide open while falling out of a plane but not while sliding down a slope on a sudsy slip-n-slide!

Until next time, live like you mean it!

Karen