Wear gratitude like a cloak and
it will feed every corner of your life.
The other day I had my annual appointment with *Jennifer, my dental hygienist.
“You have two kids, right?” I say in-between fingers in my month. She’d already told me about her son who’s off to college.
“He’s always been so easy. Things always turn out for that kid.” Happy glow she tells me how once he told an elementary school teacher, “This is my favorite holiday–not because it’s Halloween but because it’s my mom’s birthday, too.”
“My youngest is 16–a strange age.” Her voice tightens. “He’s driving now and he got himself a job, but recently he said to me, ‘It’s okay if I’m a little late,’ –and I about went wild on him.”
She looks at me for confirmation and I smile.
“This generation! I can’t stand that kind of attitude–as if it’s okay to be casual about everything. That is NOT okay! People are counting on you,” she told her son.
“Then he asked me a week later if he can go to the Homecoming Dance. He was scheduled to work that night, but he says to me, ‘I can leave early,’ and I tell him ‘No. No you can’t: You made a commitment. You can’t just leave early. People are counting on you.’”
I nod sympathetically, wondering how this story is going to turn out. “At least he got himself a job,” I manage as she completes the polish.
“The next week he asks if he can take a day off work to go watch his girlfriend’s volleyball game. It’s the same conversation, and I ask him this time, ‘How long have you known about her game?’ and he says ‘A couple of weeks.'”
He was talking to his mom about this conflict the day before the volleyball game.
After each of these scenes, Continue reading “When No One Is Watching: Thank You Parents–and It Takes a Village”