Men of McCallie,
I enjoyed connecting with many of your parents this weekend. What a joy they are! I am thankful everyday for the opportunity to sit with my dad during lunch as he “oversees” the dining hall and threatens to “write you up” for shirttails, long hair, and leaving the tables messy. He loves every minute of it and loves you guys as well.
With that in mind, I want to share a quick story about my mom, who passed away in 2006. One day when I was five years old, the snow cone man came down our street with the familiar, hypnotic tune that drew us to his truck. Having no money in my pockets, I ran inside to get some change from my mom to buy a lime snow cone. As soon as I asked for the needed funds, of course my sister had to have one as did my cousins who were staying with us. My mom said with a firm but regretful tone, “Not today, son.”
Soon I heard a loud racket coming from the kitchen. I thought my mother was taking out her frustrations with me by beating the counter with a frying pan.
Well, I pitched a huge fit complete with breath holding, stomping, wailing, and weeping, but she didn’t budge. She retreated to the kitchen without saying another word.
Soon I heard a loud racket coming from the kitchen. I thought my mother was taking out her frustrations with me by beating the counter with a frying pan. I ran into the kitchen to find her pounding on a bag of ice cubes with a skillet intent on pulverizing the ice into the consistency of a snow cone. She soon scooped out a snow cone for each of us and poured concentrated, syrupy lime Kool Aid on top.
Even at my young age, I realized that my mom probably didn’t have enough money to buy a snow cone for all of the kids in our house. I walked outside with my “homemade” snow cone resting in my favorite cup and told all of the neighborhood kids that mine was much better than theirs. I didn’t know if it actually tasted better, but I realized that my snow cone had something that theirs did not... a mom’s love.
Men, parenting is the most difficult thing I have ever attempted. There is no single correct way to parent. The responsibility is overwhelming; it is emotional, it is exhausting, it is a fearful thing to undertake, and a parent’s work is never done no matter how old their children may be... as I am now learning first hand.
Take the time to thank and appreciate your parents for the sacrifices they make for you everyday. Remember that they are human beings and prone to making mistakes the same as you. Rest assured that every decision they make is with your best interest at heart even if you don’t always agree. In summary, your job is quite simple: Be good sons!