So, I've been devoting Wednesdays to my Dad, the cool Don Murphy. I decided it was a good idea, as I have lots to tell and learn from him about parenting.
He might be surprised by this one. You might be, too. Today, I have a specific thank you.
Back in the long ago late seventies and early eighties, people didn't give a lot of thought to seat belts. Some cars didn't even have them - weird, huh? Well, I think most cars did, but they were stuffed way down under the seat and nobody could ever find them. And the belts didn't come from behind, over your shoulder. They came from the depths and ickiness of the between the seat area. Once you located the belt for your seat, it was most definitely either sized for Flat Stanley or the fat lady at the circus. They didn't work with the spring back system of today - once you found one, it might prove to be ten feet of royal blue silky belt. It was a real pain. Anybody remember that?
Oh, what we went through, back in the day.
But, that's not really what this post is about. That's not the thank you. My appreciation goes to my Dad for being a bit on the 'weird' side and forcing us to wear seat belts way before everybody else did. It was a pain; it really was. Though we knew he forced the issue because he loved us so very much, we were often frustrated by that extra ten seconds of effort needed to be safe. Dad stayed the course. I'm thankful. He had us put on the seat belts, no matter what car we were in. He had our friends put on seat belts when they rode with us.
The part that amazes me now - now that I'm a parent - is how hard that must have been. I can see now that listening to us whine about the pesky seat belts must have been a pain. It would have been so much easier to do what most everyone else was doing and just forget about the safety issue that was becoming clearer and clearer. It would have been easier - much easier.
But that's not my Dad. That's not how he does it, and I'm thankful. Writing this has all sorts of things running through my brain about parenting today. I'm wondering about the things I need to be brave about; the yays and nays I need to concentrate on, even when it's really, really hard.
I have a great example, and I can remember it every time I put on my seat belt. Each time I reach over and do what I have to do, I can draw on the strength I learned from my Dad and hope for the courage to be so bold myself.