You pick and chop the freshest tomatoes and cucumbers and carefully lay them on a slice of bread. Place them perfectly so that the entire surface is covered with just the right amount. Then you place another slice of bread together precisely over it, holding them gently, ensuring none of the spread or stuffing falls out. You’ve made your perfect Sandwich.
Then what do you do? Grip it tightly between your jaws and chomp down.
Ever wondered how those poor hapless slices of tomato and cucumber felt?
I know. I am the cucumber.
(Or perhaps considering my present size I should say I am the tomato)
Above me I have my parents, and below me is my kid. The former tells me what to do and the latter tells me what not to do. One accuses me of being too lenient and not monitoring enough. The other feels stifled by my perceived helicopter parenting.
Someone believes that to spare the rod is to spoil the child and respect is assumed with age. Someone likes to remind me about child rights and helplines and how respect needs to be earned. Each of my ears is hearing a different tune at a different pitch and the final music that reaches my brain is something between cacophony and white noise.
I listen to my parents, I listen to my child. I care for my parents, because the scriptures tell me that that’s what good children do, yet I know I must let my child go live his life without being bogged down by mine, because the psychologists tell me that that’s what good parents do. I’m a very good listener – I’m zen. I support my parents as they once did me, and I save up for my son’s tuition just as my parents once did for mine, but I’m also smart enough to save up for retirement ’cause the times they are a changin’.
And don’t ask me why. BECAUSE I SAID SO.