Monday, August 20, 2007

Go Daddy-O!

On the way home from picking up the girls and a great lunch with my mother I tried in vain to find a radio station, as we had previously decided to give up our XM subscription. Had I been in my own momma mobile I would have had a myriad of cds at my disposal, but I was driving my in-laws SUV since our van went on the New York adventure with the boys.

Knowing that I would not find anything appropriate on the FM channels, I decided to at least try and find a classical station on AM that would not scar my daughters for life with the lyrics. It might drive me to the brink of insanity since I am not a huge classical fan, but the girls' ears would be safe.

I found gold, albeit in AM land. I found a 40's station playing Big Band, my favorite style of music. As we happily sang along to Louis Armstrong, The Glenn Miller Orchestra and others I lamented about the world going to "hell in a hand basket" in this day and age and wondered why life now could not be what is was then.

Despite my adoration for air conditioning and i pods, I have always maintained that I was born in the wrong decade. I have always romanticized the early decades of the centuries and wished I could have experienced them. The attributes I love the most are the strong family ties, respect for others and the general sense of the fact that men were men and women were women. You know what I mean.

Before you remind me that there were still bad people, sin and no central air conditioning back in the day, let me assure you that I in no way think that it was a perfect time. Things then just were not as blatant. Society for the most part had a sense of right and wrong and did not air dirty laundry or decide to make music just another outlet for p*rn.
Those people did not exist in polite society, they stayed in the dark underbelly where they belonged.

So how are we contributing? Don't gasp now; I mean, how are we contributing to change what we hate about now and reestablish what we had then? I know small things that we have very large control over.

In our family we have a couple basic definites. K.Z. is never, ever, ever to hit a girl, he is to always hold the door for a lady/girl and he will never wear any hat at my or any other table nor in a church. "Yes ma'am", "no ma'am", "yes sir", "no sir" are a requirement of all our children and they are also to always look you in the eye when you speak to them or they are speaking to you (forgive us if they falter on this one, we are still working on it!). No one gets to eat until prayers have been said and Momma has sat down at the table. If you want the last of something served you best ask everyone else if they want it first. These are just basic common courtesies.

I am still working on others, but I have the power to instill these values in my children and take back a part of societal norm that has been lost. You have this power as well.

I remember my Grandfather standing when a lady would enter a room and still respect my father's chivalrous manner. Does anyone take it seriously when the Pledge of Allegiance is said anymore? Are we teaching our children to stand and salute the flag? Do we do it?

The times that we live in are certainly tumultuous at best. They were not much better in the first half of the century either. Wars, poverty, abortion, prejudice, homosexuality and deviant behavior were rampant then as well. But the parents who refused to give in to that type of society were training up their children with proper manners and respect for county and fellow man.

We can do that too. We should be doing it since there are not too many of us left that think it is important. So, make Johnny sit up, look you in the eye and offer to crank up the air conditioning for you. He owes it to you and you owe it to him.

1 comment:

Carolyn said...

As I've said before, you should write for a newspaper or magazine! You are very good. I agree with you 100%. I have always said I was born in the wrong time too. I do like the modern conveiences we have, but don't like how we have lost the "societal norm" (as you said). I want to instill those valus in my boys too. I really notice it at parades. There is no patriatism (except displayed by the generation of men and their wives who fought and lived in the times of WWII, the Koren War and the Vietnam War. If we don't teach our children then that way of life could become extinct.