From Pipi’s Pasture: A tribute to family
A couple of weeks ago my son Jamie and family flew down from Alaska and were joined by son Jody and family from Vernal. We were all together! Jamie’s family stayed with me. One morning I got up early and made a pot of coffee. Beds of children, grandchildren, and great-grandson Brian were scattered everywhere in the small house. Not a creature stirred as I drank a cup of coffee and waited for the sun to come up so I took advantage of the quiet to reflect on what “family” means.
Based partly on memories of years past, this is what “family” means to me…
- the feeling one has when all the members of a household are safe and snug in their beds.
- sharing a bed with two children, a dog, and three cats during a lightning storm.
- finding an “I love you” note from your mom in your lunchbox.
- being together at the dinner table to share food, ideas, memories, and each family member’s “what’s going on.”
- studying up on algebra so you can help a child with homework.
- going out at midnight to pick up a child who decides she/he doesn’t want to stay at a slumber party.
- respecting the others’ opinions.
- helping a child learn to ride a bicycle.
- going out in the night rain to find a stuffed animal left out in the yard.
- always being there for one another.
- being a good listener.
- letting one another learn from mistakes.
- taking time to float leaves down a creek.
- helping a child move a caterpillar cross a dirt road so it doesn’t get run over.
- a father and son leaning over the bed of a pickup truck, deep in conversation.
- knowing that there is someone who will “come running” when you need help.
- putting a Spiderman Band-Aid on a bruised knee.
- not judging.
- soothing a child who didn’t get invited to a friend’s birthday party.
- covering a napping child with a blanket—when he’s 30, and he isn’t even cold.
- helping your child research the Salicaceae family of plants.
- letting your grandchildren make a fort in the house, using a table, 20 blankets, and the dining room chairs.
- having fun with one another.
- not bringing up past mistakes.
- being able to say, “I’m sorry. I was wrong.”
- taking time to hand-write letters to one another.
- keeping the refrigerator full of drawings and newspaper clippings and the walls covered with photos.
- cooking your son’s favorite dishes when he visits.
- saying “goodbye” to your sons’ families when they have to go back home, knowing you’re going to miss them like crazy.
This is what “family means to me.
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