Whatever you want to call it – it sure can (and often does) ring true.
That old “Golden Rule” whispers in your ear:
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Matthew 7:12).
I was talking to my dad on the phone recently, lamenting how I feel like I never really see my kids – like the time with them is always so short. He chuckled a little…I wasn’t sure why at the time. But then, I got to thinking about things like I always do…
I live quite a distance from my dad. I only get to see him once a year on average – if I’m lucky. We talk on the phone, but only every 2-3 weeks. For the longest time, my reasoning behind this was that my life is very routine and very little changes from week to week. Surely he doesn’t want to hear about the same thing over, and over, and over…
Probably not so right.
I’m learning this more and more as my own kids grow - move up…move out…move on. As they become increasingly independent and they begin to (all too quickly) move to the outer edges of my life.
My daughter, off to college…hanging out with friends…staying out late. Sometimes we don’t talk for several days.
Even my sons, who are still at home…busy with their friends…school…and splitting time between my house and their dad’s.
I wonder if they are ok…if people are treating them well…if they are treating themselves well.
When they are with me – or when we talk (or text as it happens more often now) – I want to hear about everything. What they did…who they were with…what they ate…I want to hear the whole story.
Sometimes, there really is no story. Sometimes it’s just days full of chores, homework, school, fussing & fighting and normal everyday life.
But I found something out…it doesn’t matter…it doesn’t matter at all that I hear for the 100th time how much they hate algebra, or how they wish they didn’t have to get up so early, or how annoying this or that person is – or anything else that happens in their normal routine. What matters is that I hear about it. That I just hear THEM…their voices…their laughter, frustration, joy, anger…whatever it is.
And then I think back on my relationship with my dad. How must he feel when he only hears from me every few weeks? If he feels anything like I do, there is sadness…there is loneliness…and there is also the knowledge that this is just the way it is sometimes, and how much you hate that fact. There’s where “what goes around comes around.”