When I returned to school after my mom's most recent surgery, my principal asked me how things were going. I shared that some days were good while others were a bit more difficult. We chatted about how elderly parents who are rehabbing from a surgery or injury have many needs and have to relearn a multitude of new skills.
He told me about a sight he had seen recently, and the analogy of what he said has really stuck with me the past few weeks.
He was driving down the road and as he stopped at a light, he saw two short white bus/vans cross the road side by side, in front of him. One was a white daycare van; the other was a white elderly daycare van. This scene visually drove home for him the point of how life comes full circle.
When our children are young, they have many needs and demands that, as parents, we have a responsibility to navigate. They can't care for themselves because they don't have all the skills required, not to mention the safety issues of leaving them alone, so working parents need the help of daycare professionals, and sometimes that means having children transported on the white daycare van.
The flip side of that coin is that when our parents are older, they might have health issues or limitations that don't allow them to be the independent adults they once were. Again, for working adult children, sometimes the need for professional assistance to help take care of their parents is there, for both safety and health reasons. That might even mean a trip or excursion for the parents on a white daycare van.
This conversation has been a bittersweet revelation to me as I've pondered the cycle of life the past few weeks and months. My parents, rather they realize it or not, have been just as dependent on my brother and me at times, as my daughters were when they were toddlers. It leaves me feeling a combination of humbled, overwhelmed, and grateful.
For more slices, head over to Two Writing Teachers blog.