I was brought into this world in the year 1963 and was among the last of the Baby Boomer II generation. It’s amusing to hear my kids tell me how lucky I am to have grown up in the 60’s & 70’s. They have this wistful illusion that I was part of some groovy revolution. I guess I should correct them, but who doesn’t like being thought of as a rabble-rouser?
Unlike Rob and I, my parents were largely influenced by the 50’s. This decade encompassed their parenting styles, beliefs, and discretion. They helmed from conservative backgrounds and believed in things like the importance of elegance, etiquette, and the “spare the rod” method.
As a child, my family didn’t encourage open dialogue or loud displays of affection – nonetheless, my siblings always knew we were loved. I will say, however, that this style of parenting probably won’t yield much success if the child is flagrantly problematic – a line I tested for much of my adolescence.
I wouldn’t consider Rob and I child-raising trailblazers or anything, but we did do one thing right: we were honest with our boys. They saw our flaws and we urged them to learn from our mistakes. I didn’t understand what a gift this transparency had been until they were grown. Contrary to myself, my boys didn’t know what it felt like to live behind an artificial facade. It was this bohemian lifestyle that made my mother question our parenting. She was often right and meant well, I just wish she could see how we turned out.
Regardless of the different generations my mom and I came from, she was always there for me. She may not have physically shown her affection, but I realize now that she didn’t need to. Although quiet, her love was strong; instilling within me the priceless quality of undying support.
I go to sleep every night knowing that my boys adore me. “I love you” is said several times a day, Rob hugs them every time he comes home, and I steal kisses with each hello and goodbye. We raised them to be good men that should never be afraid of expressing their feelings. They also grew up knowing there isn’t a thing in this world their father and I wouldn’t do for them – this, they learned from their grandmother.
Thank you, mom. I miss you. Let’s talk soon, I’ll bring the coffee. -R.