Well folks, I learned something about myself this week. My husband and I came to the conclusion that we are dinosaurs, a dying breed. We were raised with a completely different set of rules. Rules of behavior, etiquette, and yeah in a lot of ways morals. Yeah, times have changed, the social climate has changed, hell the whole world has changed, I agree. Here comes the “BUT”……
I taught my kids those same rules because I felt they were important. Manners were so revered in my youth, they set you apart, I was always so proud to make my parents proud! I just couldn’t stand to see any disappointment in my parents eyes, especially my Pop! I felt that my behavior reflected back on them, good or rotten. As a growing adult, I still felt the same way. As a parent, these things are even more important to me!
We recently sent a gift. We were very excited to send this said gift. It meant a lot to us to acknowledge an event in their lives. We tracked the delivery of the package, the package was delivered and we waited to hear from the recipient. Of course, you want to hear that they liked it, or loved it, or it was a wonderful surprise. I think as a society, we all still like and want to be responded to when we do special things for people we love. A validation of a sort. Especially in this “instant message age”, you can drop a text, e-mail, even post on a facebook page. Plenty of ways to respond…..
I was disappointed and yes, hurt when we didn’t hear anything. I talked to my Mom, Steven, our daughters, and my sister. “Am I being unreasonable?”. After a very long conversation with my daughter, Colleen, she reminded me of something I have said many times. “You have to decide whether you can give without expectations, or whether you need to hear that “Thank You”.” Well, she was right! This was all about MY expectations.
I’m so glad we raised such smart kids, lol. Colleen was so right. I am the one who was projecting my expectations, I needed that confirmation of receipt, and I wanted to hear that they loved it! I was a tad unreasonable! Our daughter Maureen, reminded me that I could feel that way when my own children didn’t acknowledge, but not others. The parent learning from her kids, see I am getting old fast. lol. Once again, a dinosaur!
I have learned something very valuable from my kids and about myself too. I just don’t know if I am ever going to be able to adjust, I find I like hearing from that someone I send a special item to. The anticipation of their reaction, the joy of hearing the happy tears, excited voice, or a picture on Facebook, knowing that it made a difference to their day, I need that!
The alternative is just not something I can swallow. So, I keep learning new things about myself. I will definitely ask myself that big question the next time I go to send a gift. I thank my parents for the exceptionally great teachers they have been. Truth be told, the shoe is on the other foot now, Mom. I am my parents, bursting with such pride when others comment on my children’s fantastic manners.
May that circle stay in motion for many generations to come! Cyn