In my father’s eyes, parenting never ceases

As a child, I couldn’t wait to “grow up.”
As a “grown up” … I wish I was a child. Not that I am craving being forced to eat my mom’s meals (I have never-ever consumed another turkey burger in my life) or wishing I was to obey their “lame” rules again.
No, the reason I wish I was a child again is because they tend to bounce back from injuries a lot better than adults – in most cases.
It’s as if children are encased in bubble-wrap. Granted, the scrapes and bruises are inevitable when we are growing up. But generally, a kiss and a band-aid are the “cure-alls.”
After my recent “bike trip,” I wished kisses and band-aids would have worked.
Earlier this month, the kiddos and I took a road trip back to my hometown.
One morning, before my parents woke up (the kiddos were sleeping at their grandparents house about a mile away), I decided I was going to take a trip down memory-lane.
What I hadn’t planned on was the trip literally being a trip … off my mom’s 25 year old bike.
There I was, riding along on a bike that reminds me of the Wicked Witch of the West in “The Wizard of Oz” (Cue music …), taking in the old neighborhood.
I was reminiscing about the time my parents stuck me with a neighbor when my younger brother was born; and the time a house caught fire down the street (causing me to have nightmares for months). I also rode past the house where I met my future best-friend because her aunt used to babysit my brother and me.
The memories were making me smile.
This was a great neighborhood in the 1980s.
And then, out of nowhere, a stick flew up into my bike’s spokes.
I clasped the breaks with all of my strength, hoping and praying I would not go flying off the bike onto the pavement. I used every muscle in my body to stop the momentum of the 25 year old bike.
I worked, a little bit. Instead of my face hitting the pavement, my left elbow took the hit as did my left knee. And somehow, the handlebars did a number on my legs too.
But all in all, no major harm had been done.
And, since I was reminiscing, I decided to forgo my cell phone and was forced to (GASP), knock on a door of a complete stranger (GASP again!).
Here’s what the man witnessed when he opened the door:
A 34-year-old wife and mother of three crying at his front door, mumbling about falling off her bike, not having her cell phone and needing to call her parents in between sobs.
Here’s what my dad heard on the other line:
“DAADD, its Melis!! IfelloffmomsbikeandIcan’trideithome.IamattheParrish’soldhouse.” – spoken so fast, no one understood a single word I said, well, except my mom, she caught the last part and knew where to send out the cavalry.
I said thank you to the man (and as I turned, I saw a sheriff’s car parked in his driveway – clearly I picked the right house to bang on at 8:30 a.m.) and hobbled up the driveway, back to my broken bike where I then continued to look for my dad and cry – some more.
My dad arrived moments later and we hauled the piece of crap bike into the vehicle and drove back home.
As we drove, my dad said, “Ya know, Melis, we never stop being parents.”
And that made me cry even more.
Knowing that at any time, any place, I can call my parents and they will either offer advice or come “pick me up” anyway they know how.
Funny because I know I will do the same for my three kids too – always have and always will.