Three Things My Parents Got Right

Jen at “Et Tu” has proposed a group writing project on three things your parents got right. Here are mine.

1. There was no TV on school nights

Their theory was, if we got to watch TV on school nights, we’d rush through our homework. I suspect they were right. What was the long-term result? People ask me, “How do you have time to read so many books?” I read fast…and I don’t watch TV.

2. We had room to be kids

A lot of our kid’s friends are so over-scheduled by their parents that they hardly know what to do with any free time. We didn’t have this problem when we were little, and so we developed our imaginations. Jane and I are raising our kids the same way. Result? I’ve often seen David and James playing a video game—Pokemon, say—and one will say to the other, “Do you want to go upstairs and play a Pokemon game?” Which means, “Would you like to go up to our bedroom and engage in unstructured imaginative play centered on the general topic of Pokemon?” That’s right. They will turn off the video game console to go play make-believe. On their own initiative.

3. They each married the right person

Neither of my parents rushed to get married. My dad served in the Pacific in WWII as an electrician’s mate; after the war he got a EE degree and went to work for an electronics firm. I gather a lot of his work was for the Navy. My mom went to nursing school, and after the war she went to work at a hospital in Hawaii. They were both in their mid-20’s when they met, by chance, at a hotel there. Apparently they’d both been keeping an eye out looking for Mr. and Miss Right, and when they found each other, that was that. They were engaged two weeks later, and married four months after that, and had 48 happy years together before Mom passed away.

Having a good marriage is a lot of work…and there’s no reason to make it harder by rushing into it with the wrong person. Mom and Dad both knew what they wanted, and didn’t settle for less. And we kids had all the benefit of parents who loved each other, got along well, and didn’t split up on us.

Long term result? When I married Jane, we were each in our mid-20’s. Just this week we’re celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary. God willing, we’ll both be around for our 50th.

  • By Jennifer F., October 5, 2007 @ 12:43 pm

    What a beautiful post. I especially love the last paragraph. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • By Abigail, October 7, 2007 @ 6:04 pm

    Married the right person! That’s on my post. I’m almost to year seven with my right mate, can’t wait for year 20 and then hopefully, much longer.

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