Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Respecting your elders

My mother told me that her mother and father never hugged or kissed her when she was a child. They weren't cold, just reserved. Apparently they never felt the need to make buddies of their children.

Bubbe and Zayde raised three children to adulthood and put up with no nonsense. They believed that the only occupation worth pursuing was medicine or law. Their children bowed to destiny and became doctors and a lawyer. Mother and Uncle Moe excelled at their studies, but Uncle Doc made a stab at being a black sheep and misbehaved some in school--what would be called boyish pranks nowadays. He and a friend released some white mice in the hallways in high school, among other things. He became a doctor anyway. Apparently his parents' will was stronger than his.

I've never seen parents more highly esteemed than these two were by their children. Their two sons and daughter, when they were grown up and had children of their own,  would literally do everything their parents requested, and were never summoned without showing up.

I wonder, did my mother whine when she was made to practice the piano instead of hanging out with her friends? Was Uncle Doc grounded when he misbehaved?  How about Uncle Moe, when he skipped school to go to a ball game? 

Or was it that they all pulled together to survive poverty and hunger, to grow and thrive?  I honestly don't know.

The ability to tell your kids what to do has apparently been lost over the years.

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