More and more I realize how fortunate I was.
Though my Father and me weren't really close during my formative years, he was THERE.
And by "There", I mean he came home from work, read the Indianapolis Times and Indianapolis News, and waited for Mom to put dinner on the table. At that time he, Mom, my sister and me all sat around that table, ate the meal, and TALKED.
The meal? It was never fancy. Sometimes it was cornmeal mush and beans.
But in all my growing-up years I was NEVER hungry.
Dad was there.
Way too many kids these days cannot make that statement.
Conversation around that table was what you'd expect...
Dad's job as a lineman for the Indianapolis Power and Light Company was not without risk. Sometimes we'd hear stories about someone being hurt. Once it was about how difficult it was to lower an acquaintance's body from the utility pole.
We may not have been close, but Dad was THERE, and I knew, because of his WWII experience, and the fact his coworkers had died doing the same job he did, he was a willing to take risks others would not take... a hero.
He was someone who deserved my attention.
Dad was THERE putting beans and biscuits on that table, and I listened not only to what he said but what he didn't say.
I heard him say, "If I had stayed in the ARMY I'd be retiring now."
And from that I inferred, "I wish I had looked farther into the future and had taken a smarter course."
How many kids today could benefit from that lesson?
How many adults today would have better lives if their Fathers had been sitting across from them at the dinner table?
Dad was there. Mom was there.
And their relationship, though FAR from perfect, reminds me of the Foster Parent ads we're seeing and hearing on our media today...
"You don't need to be perfect to be a perfect parent."
We didn't have much, but we had MORE than enough.
How long before we realize kids need PARENTS...(that's PLURAL folks), to be THERE for kids?
Our train is off the track.
Let's get back to the basics and get back on the right course.