I want to tell you about the picture above. Its a picture of my Mom and Dad and two of my sons.
My parents come up from Maryland once in awhile to visit. They usually bring me some old pictures that they found or maybe the Washington Post Book World or the Sports section . They are both in their 80's, but they are very active, playing tennis and gardening.
When they arrive, they come inside and use the bathroom and then that is it for being inside. Dad throws the ball to the kids and makes them race around the tree and times them and then and I bring out my Labrador Stormy and show some of her retrieving drills and then my parents watch the kids ride bikes and then Dad tells me to call Antonino's up the street and get some hoagies or pizza for everybody. Then I bring out the dog kennel to use as a table because we don't have anything to put the food on.
And then they watch the kids play a little longer and then Dad says, "Okay, Mom." and then they stand up and give out some hugs and then they head on back. No drama, no arguing, no fuss whatsoever. I just think its cool that they are no trouble at all and that they they think it is silly to go inside. Why go inside when you can be out and watch the kids romp around? It's a beautiful day lets watch the dog do some work.
And there is no CRAP involved with any of it. We visited, we are done, love you, we wanna miss the traffic on 95. Nothing fancy, hell, you don't even have to clean the house when they come. They would never dream of being any trouble. I hear other people talk about parents visiting and they are worried because such and such doesn't get along with so and so and where is everyone going to sleep and oh my god, we have to go to the store and let's plan dinner and then we will go out one night and so on.
Sorta goes along with what I enjoy in life, simple things that don't involve a lot of posturing or politics and zero egos. And there is no beating around the bush about staying longer and please don't go or any of that stuff. Just black and white and see you soon.
Inside I think that its their generation that sees things simply and that when you have been through the Depression and World War II that you really know what is important and what is not. It's the kids and company, period.And in my mind, it is the way that it should be.