Let me tell you about my parents. I have a father who drove for five hours to come visit me and then promptly went to weed my flower garden. I have a mother who came into town to spend time with us only to spend her time mothering four other children as well. A father who played in the pool with my daughter while I was too nauseous to move. A mother who made dinner and fun desserts while I rested. A father who cleaned the litter box while I had a temperature over 100 degrees. A mother who got down on the floor and played while I read to the other children. A father who installed a cat door while I took a nap. A mother who drove my car around while I was too sick to drive. A father who babysat fifteen children, so I and the other women could attend a church meeting without interruptions. And I would be remiss to not mention a mother-in-law who knew I was at the park and just showed up and then left with Jill, so Jill could nap while I was at the doctor's office.
I have parents who time and time again have showed me through their actions and words that the title they cherish above all others is "parent." I have parents who have been my refuge, my sustenance, my shelter. A mother who knew when I could be left alone, because it was "just a phase." A father who showed me that he would do anything to be where I needed him. A mother who knew when I definitely could not be left alone, because I was not going to snap out of it on my own. Parents to whom I owe everything.
I strive to be that kind of parent, so Jill and our future children will be blessed like I was.
Postscript—A comment on my week: I had the opportunity to babysit four children, two cats, and a house this week. Unfortunately, I ended up getting the flu, and that pretty much wiped me out. Amidst the fever, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, I was of little use. My parents drove down from Detroit and pretty much saved me. Luckily, none of the kids nor my parents got sick. Sadly, my mother-in-law and brother-in-law did. I can only presume it was from when Jill napped at their house.