So, after driving back to work last night to pick up a small notebook for my dad, it dawned on me that the urge to please my parents, and especially my dad, is so ingrained that it is almost instinctive. I do it without even thinking about it.
Example A: A few weeks ago, shortly after my car was broken into, my dad asked me if I had talked to any general contractors to see about getting my garage redone. I said no, but I'd check into it. I didn't. So, early this week (or late last, it's hard to remember exactly when), dad asked me again. I still hadn't done it, so I got on the internet and started looking for general contractors in my area. I found quite a few, so I set up for 4 of them to come to the house today, at 9AM, 11AM, 1PM, and 3PM. That way, when dad came, he could talk to several guys instead of him having to drive down multiple times for one guy at a time. It was a trick to get them scheduled all for 1 day, without having them overlap, and it's a pretty inconvenient having the parents in the house, but I figured that would be the easiest for mom and dad. This morning, dad tells me that if I can get a couple of more bids he'd come next week, too. But you don't have to make 4 of them in one day, that was a bit much.
Example B: We went out to dinner last night at a mexican place just down the road from my house. I like it, they have handmade tortillas. However, those handmade tortillas were a bit tough, and a little crunchy in places, and dad won't wear his dentures, so he wasn't thrilled with my choice. Immediately, I began to think that I needed to go scope out some other mexican restaurants and try to find one that both mom and dad would be happier with.
Example C: My plans for the garage included adding a small utility bathroom, with a toilet and a small stall shower, for when there are other people in the house. That way there is another toilet, which is always good. Also, I'm moving the washer and dryer out to the garage. I thought I would put a small water heater into the garage, just big enough to run a load of hot water or take a hot shower. Then I'd like a tankless heater in the house to service the house. I will probably be shot down on this one. I can tell already I'm not going to win this battle. Because dad is paying for all of this, and because this is a bit of a luxury, to have a 2 dedicated water heaters, one for the house and one for the garage, I'm having a hard timing telling dad that I want this slightly more expensive option.
There are more. Every time I go home, it is to please the folks. Every time I call home, it is to please the folks. That really hard trip to Illinois, was to please the folks. The running and doing and helping while we were in Illinois, was to please the folks. It seems like I don't do anything relating to my parents because I want to, because it would be something I would enjoy. I do it because it is expected of me. And I'm getting tired of it. And then I ask myself, Are you going to stop? and I answer, NO, because if anything happened while I was being selfish, while I was being a spoiled brat, I would never forgive myself. So I trudge, stumble, drag on, at this moment, hoping that this will resolve itself as I go along, doubting that it actually will.
Dear God, please give me the patience to handle these pressures with diginity, grace and maturity, with a calm mind and spirit. Amen.