My responsibility

Monday, October 10, 2005

Responsibility, what a scary word. As young children we are taught to take on such responsibilities as picking up our toys, getting along with other youngsters, not to step too close to the street and others what we had thought were unfair and ridiculous demands.

As we grew older those responsibilities changed and seemed to grow larger in numbers. It is your responsibility to get your homework done. There are curfews which if violated come with a price - help with chores. If there were younger siblings involved, it is one's reponsibility to make sure that they stay safe. And that all too familiar, "get a job and keep it."

To this day we as parents try diligently to enforce the same responsibilities in our children. But do our responsibilities end when our children grow into young adults? The answer is no.

I pride myself on how well my children have grown into the highly motivated and responsible young women that they have become. But no matter how old they get, I as their Mother, a parent, remain at the head of the table. When they cry, I cry; when there are accomplishments, I am there to celebrate; when they fall, I must be there to pick them up, dust them off and remind them that things will be ok. That is my responsibility. That is one lesson that was carried with me from my parents. No matter how disgusted I got with them, and believe me there were many times, they have taught me well.

When I was down, they were right there with words of encouragement and if I needed a shoulder or perhaps some financial help they were there. We were by no means well off, but they did what they could and for that I am forever grateful. To this day my mother is the one I call if I have a problem, have good news or just have a hankering to chat a bit.

It is important as parents to remember that we will always be parents and no matter how old your child is, they will always need you. Some may say that my children are spoiled. So...what's your point? I didn't spoil them financially, because the money wasn't there. I spoiled them by listening, showing them respect, encouragement, concern, quite a bit of freedom with a few restrictions, and when they did need a bit of money, I tried to help. If it meant that I went without, so be it. If it meant that I would go into debt, so be it.

What is money, when it comes to making sure that your children get the education that they need, pay a utility bill, need repairs on their cars or a few groceries. I have tried to instill in them the importance of being responsible with their hard earned money by saving and not to spend unwisely. Well, as I remember back to my younger days, there were a few times that a new pair of jeans seemed a bit more important than a bill that perhaps could wait until the next paycheck.

With the cost of living rising as it is and wages not being kept up to the rising costs, it is hard for either a college student or a single adult trying to make ends meet. It is my responsibility as a parent to make sure that if the time arises that they do need a bit of help, I will be there. They have needed a bit of money in the past and being the responsible adults that they are, have at times attempted to pay portions of their debts back to me. For the most part I don't ask that of them. There may come a day that I will need their assistance. Whether it be a couple of bucks or a place for an old lady to hang her "Red Hat".

Being a parent is a large responsibility but also a blessing. I will continue to share my knowledge with my children and grandchildren and make sure that the road to happiness is paved with good health, a fair amount of wealth not necessarily financially but in information and love and the reassurance that I will always be there for them and do what I can to make life a bit easier.

There - that is my responsibility.