your daughters

While getting ready this morning, it dawned on me that part of parenthood is the belief that you’ve ‘done something right’ in the life of your children. At least, it seems like that would be one of the goals behind having children; making the world a better place, improving upon wrongdoings, and giving life to strong and capable individuals. When would a parent know they had ‘gotten it right’? It seemed fair to assume that it’s when their son/daughter tells them.

So, between applying So Fresh So Dry, now powdery dry and fresh, I decided to write this blog. 

Dear Mom,

How are you doing? You’ve been on my mind throughout the past few weeks. And I wanted to take a moment to say hullo. It’s a bit odd to think that we communicate and connect during the small blips of time in our lives; pinched between the moments where life actually happens and gives us new things and events to talk about. I hope you’re well.

While you aren’t here in Dallas, I can assure you I’ve been doing quite well. I’m looking forward to your visit.

This past weekend, I playfully gave swimming lessons to my girlfriend. “Chicken, eagle, snake” was easily picked up. It reminded me of all of my swimming instructors as a child. Gary was definitely my favorite. Being adept in the pool is one of those things I’ve glossed over and simply assumed that everybody knows how to swim, dive, and flip turn.

It made me realize there were many other things that we did during our childhood that have deeply enriched my life as an adult. While some are interesting conversation pieces, others have been a foundational part of my day-to-day life.

You did a great job of keeping balance between constructive fun and education. I can’t begin to count the number of museums, art galleries, zoos, and public landmarks that you took your kids to. From Israel to underground Smithsonian museums in Washington D.C., where we learned about grand pianos, you kept things interesting and enriching to the lives of your kids.

I really appreciate that. It would have been easier for you to flip on the TV and let us watch cable.

I really hated waking up on Saturday mornings and going to CCAD for art classes. However, I enjoyed the classes once I brushed the sleep out of my eyes. I think Lydia may still be a bit resentful that I won a scholarship for my “Wedge” drawing. Mixed-media artwork, light perspective, proper shading, coloring, and still life drawings. For several years, I’ve wanted to get back into artwork; drawing, painting, and sculpture. Perhaps this year will be the year.

Meerkats, reptiles, and fish. There was always the secret hope that we’d hit the snack bar at the Columbus Zoo after a very long walk. Occasionally we did. More often, we simply ate the snacks you’d put in insulated lunch bags. Pachyderm. Nailed the spelling on my first try. There’s not a lot of day-to-day situations where my animal kingdom knowledge comes in handy. Yet, that’s not the point of it. What was important is that I learned how to patiently watch, observe, and appreciate the beauty of those animals behind the glass. The slight movements of a sloth, spotting a camouflaged fish, and admiring the beauty of exotic fish gracefully darting through the water taught me how to appreciate the moments of beauty in every single day that often goes unnoticed and unappreciated.

We weren’t exactly the type of family to own a family yacht. However, one of my favorite memories as a child was learning how to sail, canoe, and kayak. I may need a bit of a refresher, but I’m still pretty confident i can rig up The Flying J if given the opportunity. Not many people know how to move straight ahead in winds blowing the opposite direction. I do.

So, to make a semi-long blog/letter short, I wanted to take a moment to thank you for all of the years of sacrifice, education, care, and love that you gave to your children. There are a lot of times where I find moments of frustration for events that happened during my childhood – which is something that happens to everybody. However, when I look back at my life that the gift of life that you gave to me and all of my siblings, I wanted you to know that you knocked it out of the park.

By having children and investing your life into them, you’ve made the world a better place. You raised up children who learned how to respect others, have compassionate hearts, not make unnecessary work for others, and common courtesy and respect for others.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Your Son,

Aaron Plaat

“She no dog.”

Featured Image From Deviantart

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