Monday, July 1, 2013

Parents are so hard to raise these days

As I make my way through the first decade of F-years, there is a noticeable shift in my relationship with my parents.
As a young lad, it was always Mom and Dad 'laying down the law' as to how things were done.
Ma and Pa were not afraid of being the 'bad guy' by not letting me do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.
I was annoyed at the time, but looking back I can see how much they cared and they knew it was more important to be my parent than my buddy.
They were the ones with all the knowledge and I was just a babe in the woods, trying to make his way through this thing called life.
Mom and Dad knew a lot about life and it is unfortunate I was such a block-headed teen and didn't listen.
It would have saved me a lot of grief, stress and money. But I was young and far too 'smart' to listen to 'old people.'
As the years tick by, I look back and realize I was too dumb to know I was dumb. The less people know, the more they think they know because they don't know there are things they don't know.
Phew, I had to read that last line a couple times myself, but I think it makes sense.
However, the older you get, the wiser you become and as I edge up on 50 I am getting quite wise – not that my kids listen to my advice, and yes, I do appreciate the irony of it. 
I guess that is why it is called the circle of life, because humans keep going around and around, with each generation forging their own path and thinking it is the first time it has ever been done.
However, teens are not the only ones who can be challenging.
My mom and dad are both in their late 70s and they carry with them the knowledge only seven decades on this planet can provide, but they are also stubborn.
They are 'set in their ways' as the saying goes and trying to change their ways is like trying to alter the direction of a cruise ship using a spoon as a rudder.
I have accepted Dad will never figure out how the DVD player works and a computer is like a alien species to him.
I get that. There was no technology even remotely comparible to what we have today when they were young so I don't expect them to be surfing the web or jumping on to Facebook, but there are other aspects of life where they drive me bonkers.
My mom is overly cautious of new methods of medical care.
And this is one of the areas our roles are changing. My knowledge of better health care has surpassed hers, making me the authority figure and her the 'stubborn teen.'
My mother has arthritis in her back and is in pain. My wife, who is a nurse, and I have tried to explain to her pain relief is available, but she is worried about become a "grandma junkie." 
No matter how many times we explain that she will not, she still refuses to take the pain medication.
It is hard to accept some of the choices my mom is making. It is kind of like how Mom and Dad felt with some of the decisions of my youth that they did not approve or understand. But at the end of the day, all I can do is my best to support her, even if the choices she is making, in my opinion, are not the best ones.
Parents, they are getting harder and harder to raise these days.

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