Parents Day 2013

If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded. — Maya Angelou In 1994, President Bill Clinton signed a congressional Resolution into law, for “recognizing, uplifting, and supporting the role of parents in the rearing of children.” And so we celebrate Parents Day this year on Sunday, July 28th.  As older adults, you may ask what this has to do with you now that your children are long grown.  We all know the old saying of “Once a parent, always a parent” is true. We never stop loving, worrying and longing for their happiness and success. There is never a day that we don’t wish our kids good health and well-being, no matter their age.  Those years when we knew what they were eating, who they were playing with and what they were up to are long gone.  With contentment and an air of seizing the moment, we look forward to their visits carved from a schedule filled with life’s busy demands. I would be remiss if I did not recognize that some of you have outlived your child/children; this is not the way nature intends it, and for all you have endured, and continue to endure, I offer my heartfelt sympathy.  Your strength, stamina, and faith are an inspiration.  Moreover, you are parents, celebrating your child daily with your grace. I would also be remiss if I did not recognize that some of you chose, or the choice was made for you, not to have children.  However, I have observed the Wesley Way among the residents of this community, and I am certain you have mentored, valued, and held in esteem a young person on your journey.  I would be willing to bet you are still engaging in ex-officio parenting with some of Wesley’s staff, and the off-spring of your neighbors; It does indeed take a village to raise a child. On Sunday July 28th, Parents Day, I invite each of you to reflect on those years of combat parenting; those years when we were in the trenches. I bet you can recall all those sleepless nights when they were infants, then again when they hit adolescence.  No more kids, but the aches, pains and snores can interrupt one’s slumber.  One just can’t seem to win. I invite you to share a funny, poignant or meaningful story with your dining mates or neighbors and inspire a laugh and a nod of recognition.  We may not have been perfect or said the things we should have, but by golly, we love unconditionally.  That almost scary kind of out of control love when one knows they are in over their head.  There is no going back, there is so much to gain, and to lose; this love of a child. Some of you may remember this poem and may have had in posted in a prominent place during those years of active parenting. It is timeless! Here is a parenting poem by Dorothy Law Nolte.

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