Today is parents’ day in the Congo – a public holiday, thus technically a day off. It caught me completely off guard as I found out about it on Tuesday. However, not a bad day to celebrate parents and perhaps too we can throw in grandparents. For many, we have fond memories of mom (mum for the aussies), dad, and grandparents, yet I am closely keenly aware that what many of us take for granted, can be hell for others. Let’s remember those who have suffered abuse at the hands of those we a meant to trust – abuse that is done parents, or by children to older parents.
But let’s also remember the good times. All of us have parents, not all of us have children. I think of my parents and grandparents and the multitude of things they taught me. I am who I am partly to due with them, and if we agree with researchers who talk about the first 5 years of life being crictical in shaping who we are, well then, my parents and grandparents played a massively role. There many fond memories of working on the farm, going to the “shop” one evening a week to build some winter project, buying a boat and turning into a fishing boat, countless tree houses, picking fruit in the valley for jam or wine, pancakes for lunch and hamburgers for dinner on Saturdays, small birthday presents wrapped in huge boxes, making ice rinks, being pulled on a toboggan by the tractor, making christmas cake, grocery shopping with mom’s list, and so on. Lots of memories that put a smile on my face. And many of the skills I have now come from them as well.
To mom, to dad – I thank you. To us all, enjoy parents’ day and may the familiarity of our lives not stop us from expressing gratitude to those around us or far away.