Saturday, April 3, 2010

Day 106- St. Maarten

A morning text from my dad:

Detroit 45 mins late.  No gate agent!  Just ran through Atlanta airport and made connection.  Whew.  Now off to paradise!


I have always known that I have good parents.  I knew this every time they sacrificed things for themselves to make sure that we had pretty new Easter dresses or piano lessons or all the books we could read.  I knew this every time I saw them in the stands at a track meet for four hours in 20 degree weather or in the crowd at a ballet recital where I was only on stage for two minutes of a two hour show.  I knew this every time they sat down to read with me or talk with me or play with me, only to have hours of work to do once I went to bed.  I knew this when I applied to and attended the University of  Michigan without any kind of stress about how it would be paid for.  I knew this when we were able to throw one heck of a party for everyone we wanted to invite to celebrate our wedding.  I knew this when they taught me not to lie, how to work hard, not to quit, and how to love.  I could go on and on.

I'm at the point in my life now where I can actually appreciate my parents as human beings and as friends.  I recognize how much they have given of themselves in order to set us up to go after everything we want out of life.  I better understand what they have endured and who they are.  I can fathom the amount of work that they have put into their marriage for themselves and for their kids.  I see how incredibly hard they have worked to be able to live the lives that they decided that they wanted more than thirty years ago.  

With all of these understandings comes the joy of seeing my parents bask in the rewards and fruits of their labor.  Now that they're pretty sure that my sister and I will turn out okay, we can simply enjoy each other.  Now that they're done paying for all of our junk, they can simply enjoy themselves.

This week in St. Maarten, my parents will lay in the sun, read lots of books, eat fine meals, sip cocktails whenever they want to (starting at breakfast, maybe), and, most importantly, relax.  As my dad said, this place is their own personal paradise.  It has no place for cell phones or e-mails or late nights grading papers and preparing weekly reports.  It will force them to sit back, relax, and just plain have a good time together.  I can't think of two people who deserve this more.

My dad's text today made me grin from ear to ear as I pictured him in one of his silly Hawaiian shirts (or snoozing on the beach with his mouth open) and my mom in total relaxation mode, looking carefree and twenty years younger than any other woman her age in a bathing suit or sundress.

Thanks, St. Maarten, you made my day.

P.S.  I'm certain you made theirs too!    

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