My Convertible Life

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Parents Are People, Too

One of the fascinating things about becoming a parent has been the new perspective on my own parents. Sometimes it's a different view about the decisions they made about me -- now I totally understand why they wouldn't let me go unchaperoned to the beach in high school despite my pleas at the time about how very responsible I was. Sometimes it's a fresh appreciation for how hard they worked to make my life easy or realizing why they didn't always have the answers. Sometimes it's simply realizing how young they were and that they were people in addition to being my parents.

A similar revelation occurred recently when I emailed my dad about how much I enjoyed reading a book he'd loaned me -- Water for Elephants (which you should definitely read, if you haven't already). My dad is in a book club and I'm a former English teacher, so we have a lot of fun sharing books with each other. Unfortunately for me, my life doesn't allow me to read much these days (other than Fancy Nancy, of course) -- but I'm trying to get better about that and this book was part of that effort.

My dad emailed back about the three books he'd finished that week, followed by this comment: "I know how you enjoy reading and think about you and the time I have to do that."

And suddenly it hit me. Today, my dad has more books than he has shelves and reads multiple books each month -- but I have absolutely no memories of him reading for pleasure when I was a kid. Because (duh), he was busy working, spending time with his spouse and children, and trying to maintain a home for all of us (and squeezing in some tennis time, too). But as a kid, it never occurred to me that my dad was giving up something he enjoyed in order to do all of that.

I love that my dad has that time to read, now that he's retired -- he's earned it. And I REALLY look forward to the day when every day is Saturday for me, too, so that I can start reading a book a week without having to ignore my husband and children.


  1. I know what you mean about the not finding time to read, (other than the Berenstain Bear books that I hated but my children loved.) I only had time to read magazine articles and school newsletters. But now that the girls are on their own, I get to read the books that I want to read.

    Reading with the kids was something I enjoyed. I must admit that I especially enjoyed reading chapter books to the girls when they were a bit older. However, you can't read "Searching for Tamsen Donner" or "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" to a 6 year old!

  2. What a great post - I do often forget about all that we "give up" as parents!


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