As kids we were fed all kinds of stories from our parents of their experiences while growing up.
There were stories like how they had to walk 30 miles through the snow to school or how when they were kids, they were lucky if they received a new pair of shoes once every three years. Of course, I am stretching the truth a bit, but you know where I’m coming from.
Nevertheless, these were stories that were given in an attempt to get their point across. According to their experiences growing up, life was much harder being a kid back then. They worked their tails off and learned the value of a five-cent allowance each week and rules were so much more strict back then. Stories we as kids got sick of hearing when we would complain about something or ask for money to do things with. We grew tired of having to relive their childhood through stories of horror when we complained about taking out the trash or having to feed the dog that we promised to feed if they agreed to give us one. As kids we thought our parents’ stories were useless and they didn’t apply to us in modern times. Our favorite thoughts would be, “Well that was then and this is now.”
Of course, we didn’t dare voice that thought because of the consequences we’d face.
For those of us who are parents now, we can better understand the meaning behind those stories that were drilled into our heads as kids. Now we can tell our own stories to our children of how we had to endure the tough times of being a kid. What a great inheritance that was because those stories taught us lessons and kept us from being spoiled brats. I can see now as a parent myself; their speeches were for my own good. Those stories were told to me to help instill in my thick head that you take the good with the bad when going through childhood. Everything is not a walk in the park as a kid and lessons from parents were given out of love and not to be taken as cruel punishment. When they punished us and pointed out our mistakes we made we would find it hard to understand that they did it for our own good.
I value the lessons my parents taught me as a kid. My dad grew up in Cuba and came to the United States to attend Bible College. My mother was born and grew up on the mission field in South Africa so I know that any stories they told of their childhood made me realize of how good my way of life as a kid was.
I know that I have been blessed to have had both parents who loved me enough to bust my tail when I needed it. I can remember times of sporting a hand print from a good slapping on my legs after I would misbehave. Now it seems if you whip or punish a child you stand the chance of irritating the spoiled adult brats that want to yell child abuse. And those same brats wonder why people are so disrespectful today and wonder why the world is in the shape it’s in.
My parents are well into their late 70s now and although my dad is retired from the ministry, he still maintains his love for his sign business. He’s a hard-working man and knows the value of a dollar perhaps from lessons he learned from his parents when living in Cuba. I am fortunate to still be able to pick up the phone or go for a visit at most anytime because I know that as life takes its toll on them, I’ll lose that privilege one day. Until then, I still get to hear their childhood stories and the lessons they learned growing up; those same stories that still teach me today and those same stories that never get old.
Dallas Bordon is a regular contributor to The Madison County Journal.