Interestingly we live in a world of meanings. Inherent anxiety to know ‘the strange’ is there in our blood. Now this tendency to tag meaning has found its hand in relations too. We tend to define relationships. But there are some bonds which are beyond these defining traits. Our parents. Now your ‘reasoning’ mind might be brewing up reasons for defining the parent-child relationship. Usually we tend to allude the blood bonding and the 9-month pain to our parent relation. The reality is that our parents are much more than these cliche definitions. They are also those two people to whom we would always be indebted for all that they were throughout our life.
While we do share the same affection and love towards them, we often fail to reflect it. As we grow, our time gets allotted to the world and around the clock assignments and in this race against time we often tend to lose track of the simpler, more important things in life. However, let us take a minute to think and set aside some moments to be with those two important people of our lives. There are little and beautiful ways in which you can reciprocate their love with your care.
10. Buy them gifts
You and I would have at least one little story to narrate about a tantrum we threw at some shop to get that particular thing and the Oscar-winning joy that reflected on our faces when our parents bought it for us. While a gift is always a pleasant surprise, the effect and the happiness increases with the bond between the person who gifts and the one who receives. Make it a point to buy them gifts for occasions such as Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, their birthdays etc. If you are still in school it could be something as simple as a cute birthday card or a little something you brought with your saved up pocket money. Remember, it’s not the price of the gift, but the person and the thought that counts. Gifting and being gifted is joyous.
9. Keep in touch
At some point in life, we would all have to move away from our parents, be it for studies or for a job. While the physical distance can not be melted make sure you stay in touch. Make it a point to call them regularly and have a decent amount of time catching up and/or if you can spare the time and love the cliche, write them a letter. These days we find most parents are technology literate. If you cannot call them ping in a message through WhatsApp or any other messenger apps. If you are abroad, try to have a video chat at last once a week. Visual impact is more strong. It is more personalised and your parents would feel a part of you and your care as they read it. They are bound to keep those letters dear and near.
8. Share your life
Just because you are no longer a cuddly 10 year old or that you are now in college, there is no need to change everything about those butterfly childhood days. While it is a common tendency, especially among teenagers to distance their parents and enter into their own worlds, know that it would mean a lot to them if you still shared your life happenings, your dreams and aspirations with them. Also, do not make it a one way bridge but rather get to know them more and about their dreams and fears too. They are your parents, but they too are humans.
7. Make celebrations a family thing
This coming Easter would be my first one away from my family. Thanks to my never ending classes, so I know how bad it is. True that once we move on with our lives. Things can never full be the same but chart your celebrations, festivities or special occasions such that you spend it with your parents. It would be better that we create occasions which we can celebrate for the sake of it. This would mean a lot to them and these family times of togetherness are what you would be passing on to your posterity too.
6. Do little chores for them
While many of us would be too lazy to bother about household chores when you live with your parents make it a point to join them or do these for them when you visit. You need not move mountains or cook as deliciously as your mom but little things go a long way. Helping with the washing, cleaning, or even rubbing their feet, apply some Vaseline if their heels are cracked, massage some ointment for any pain they might have, insert that thread through the impossibly small needle joint, etc covers those little things.
5. Role reversal
“Child is the father of man”, so goes the famous saying. All our lives we might have been tutored and monitored by our parents over little things and these tutorings have gone a long way into moulding our character. But as our butterfly childhoods go, these ain’t forever and comes the time when you have to be the parent. Make sure that you keep a tab on your parents’ medical records and their medicines. Remind them to have the meds regularly, if they tend to forget and accompany them for regular check ups. You do not stay forever and they too do not. The ages interchange.
4. Cook for them
If you are one of those who love to boast how nothing beats their mother’s food, I can picture you reading me with raised eyebrows. Well, you need not be a born masterchef, but you can still try. Make them feel special and cared for by getting the apron off them and adorning the role upon yourself. If you are as inexperienced as I am with cooking, don’t worry- the first slip or the first little cut would have them rushing in. Well if you are not an ace, you have your favourite cook to teach you! Also, the thought definitely counts for them.
3. Take them out
One thing I have found out from my grandparents is that they have lots of time and do not know where to invest it. Time is something as important as money which ought to be invested lest it be wasted. If they are energetic enough to walk, it is always a healthy recommendation that they are taken to pilgrim centres or some other tourist place which is quiet and pleasant to spent in. Perhaps this trip would be more better when the whole family accompanies. A picnic or a park to take an evening stroll would also be advisable if you don’t find time to take them far. This might be the precious time in which they revoke the memories or the moments from the past. Listening to them would be like listening to a beautiful composition. These gestures mean a lot to them. In our younger days, we too loved to travel and go for outing. But our parents might be suppressing such dreams as their age has transformed them immobile. These occasional outings strengthens the emotional bonding too.
2. Let them be a big factor to your decisions
Let us face it, they taught you your numbers, alphabets and first utterances, does your being big mean they no longer need influence your decisions? It would be a loyal sign of love, respect and care if you included them in you decision making and follow their advices. Where we can be clouded, they can be our reason. Moreover their vast experience in life counts.
1. Be there for them. Always.
No matter how big you grow, or how great your achievements are or where you live, you are always primarily their son/daughter, you are always their little one. Acknowledge this and reflect this feeling. Shed you social masks, shed your high profile job, shed the years between your 4 to 40 and take the time, no make the time to always let them know, no matter what you are always there. Let them know you’ll always be their little one.Trust me, some roles stick to you forever!
Time is as you choose it to be. Take the time to let them know how important they are to you and always will be. Take the time to hold their hands, look into those ageless eyes and say:
“Papa/mama, I love you”.
They are what moulded you into you and what made me write this to you.