I found this column in the local rag to be especially touching; I’m not quite sure why. Perhaps because I see some parallels between the author’s description of her youth and my own, growing up on a farm, though they were half a world apart.
We did have more stuff, but I did not realize until much later that, for the first few years of my life (until my father quit farming and got a job working for the Commonwealth of Virginia), my parents were just barely getting by.
And we had one radio.
I did not have a telephone until halfway through medical school. I saw a television for the first time after I left the country in 1979. We had one small, old radio that had to be shared among five siblings with varied interests. (Imagine the torture of being forced to endure commentaries about a five-day cricket match in which you have absolutely no interest. Or, having to listen to “girlie songs,” and watching your sisters cry over silly lost-love lines.) Such was life for kids and parents alike. Today, I wonder why my parents never asked to listen to their favorites.
Recently, I have been pondering what it is like to be a parent in this day and age. Hoping for an answer, I tried the Internet. Then, I visited the local library. I found innumerable prescriptions on how to parent, and was further inspired to reflect on the triumphs and tribulations of parenting: the joys, the pangs, the angst, the zest, and the desires and dreams of a parent. This was a deep meditation.