The Lovely Trickles Of Life

There are some major challenges many of us take on in life.  In my experience none has been so daunting as taking on the challenge of parenthood some 26 year ago.  I suppose it would not be quite as daunting for those who care little for wanting to be a present parent who strives for excellence, yet this is not the case for neither Rene’ nor I: We wanted to be as good as we could be…still do.  This is not to say we were excellent parents, it is only to say we tried to be excellent parents, it was important to us –and I suppose our children’s therapists will have the final say about that.

Now, 4 adult children later, we are starting to see trickle in, ever so slowly, the fruits of our labor, the product of our efforts. These trickles generate from a circular and flowing life spring, identified by many a philosophy or religion as karma, cosmic justice, or simply reaping what you sow.

I have heard it said that you can determine  -in the majority of cases- whether a parent was good or bad parent based on whether their adult children like them or not (key word being ADULT as every 13 year old girl on the planet is obliged to hate their parents for a sizable amount of time).  Chances are if your adult children want to either avoid or even do physical damage to you, well, probably not such a good job in the nurturing department. If, on the other hand, your adult children still want to hang with you and even serve you, job well done. And, of course, there are plenty of exceptions to this.

That being said, as I share the following it is in no way presented as a self-aggrandizing means of arrogance or boasting in the parental department -quite the opposite. It is shared with my readers from a man who is not getting any younger, not getting any stronger (though, dammit, I am still gonna try!) and finds himself more dependent on life’s little crutches, be it reading glasses or hand rails, while starkly realizing his dependence upon the assistance of others is only going to increase in the upcoming years.

It comes from a humble and thankful place. It comes from a needy place. It comes from a place where trickles of love, kindness and assurance are not wanted, they are truly needed.

So last night when my daughter Rose, who is “babysitting” me during my nearly 3 month stay in London, observed that it was a ridiculous £4 to do a load of laundry at the local launderette, continued to promptly fling a 10 lb. sack of my sweaty socks and underwear on her back to take on her 30 minute bus ride home, where she could more inexpensively do my laundry herself, well, I felt a trickle of family love and kindness.

When I received the following short and sweet Viber message yesterday from my daughter Tess who is currently studying in New Zealand: Dad, thanks for quizzing me on every book I finished reading when I was little. Short, sweet, and touching -and I felt an oh-so-slight, yet ironically strong, trickle of love and appreciation.

When my son Jordan recently recognized me in a social media update another trickle of assurance was felt: Jimmy is on his way to live abroad in London for a few months and to potentially follow in his sons footsteps by doing some continental hitchhiking afterwards. He gets to step out of his comfort zone and meet a new part of himself, maybe even get to a Rainbow Gathering. At the same time he’s got a cool blog and podcast he has been consistent with updating for well over a year now, something I have been trying to do since the seventh grade.

Of course, I must mention, that the cool blog and podcasts would have never have been possible without his brilliant technological trickles of assistance.

And, of course, when my youngest Stevie says he want to be rich by age 30 and he  will be able to take care of his mom and dad with no worries, even though I will not hold my breath -I still feel the trickle of happiness and love.

These observations are written by a man who is watching his 81 year-old father, hardly able to get out of bed anymore, negotiate his final time on this earth. Observing his growing frailty acts as a mirror for my own life as this may be my fate and destiny as well – should I have the good fortune of many years on this earth.  I consider that perhaps enduring the suffering of growing old is an equitable trade off for a mere few more breaths.

Why? The trickles make it worth it.

My observations are written by a humbled man who is still desperately searching for his own identity in his post parenting days. It is written by a man whose affinity for the good things in life –travel, dance, good food and good wine- does not mask the realities of what awaits each of us in the long haul.

And, in the end, it is the family and friends we all love that hold it all together for us and with us. May I be so fortunate as to feel the trickles for many years to come.

The trickles are far worth the daunting challenge of parenthood.

photoJordan, Rene’, Stevie, my 83 year old Uncle Les, Rosie, her man Nathan, Tessa, and me.

 

 

jimmysintension

6 Comments

  1. Your blog is awesome! Just sent this link to my dad to read. I find myself doing that a lot with your posts! 🙂

  2. I want to talk about my half sister and how she has never become the ideal person. I am not criticizing your parenting, I am simply saying that some people can grow old but not grow up and mature. Keep in mind, the only parenting skills I have are primarily from a child development class I took in the winter. Also all the stories told in this comment are from the family. My parents have raised me the best they could, and I am grateful until the day I die.
    I have 2 half sisters. One of the sisters I am very close with, calling her often to see how she’s doing. The other…I’m actually not sure how old she is. I don’t even know what part of LA she’s living in or even if she’s still in the state, as I only have seen here 2-3 times in my life. I can only guess that she’s 20 years older than me. I remember the first time I ever “met” her was a phone call when I was about 7 or 8, and up until that time I had no idea I had another sister. It would be a while until I would ever see her in person. According to the family I had met her when I was 1 or 2 years old at a restaurant with her then boyfriend at the time. But if you were to ask her about that restaurant she would say that I got underneath the table and bit her boyfriend’s leg, which according to my family never actually happened. They don’t know where she got that story. But this is her, spinning stories and being ungrateful.
    When she was 11 years old, she had been to Europe. She was pushed by my dad to get an education and get a law degree. To this day she believes that my dad has done nothing for her, when I think in reality she has done nothing for him. She had a student loan of 15K when she graduated which my dad offered to pay off which was used to travel around the US with her boyfriend at the time. That student loan is still growing today estimating to be around 150K which is one of the reasons I have no idea where she’s living now as she’s on the run, so I am told. When you raise a child the right way, you hope that everything will turn out fine and they can take care of you in the future, and some cases they do. But sometimes they can be raised to receive an education and see the world, but still act like an ungrateful 14 year old to their parents well into their middle ages.

  3. This was written on my birthday. At the time I was lamenting the fact that my body continues to betray me in a dozen relatively small ways. Today I’m feeling a lot more aware of the trickles in my own life. Good reminder.

    • Freaking David Kennedy! Look what the “blast from the far past” cat dragged into my blog! What are you up to? How is life? Life good? If you have time, shoot me an email, jimurbanovich@yahoo.com, and perhaps we can catch up. Glad my words could be of some comfort 🙂

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