I frantically went on a search for my dad. I had a feeling he was outside watering our California draught-ridden back yard and I was right. Reaching up for his hand, I tugged his free hand and stated a pretty deep thought for a 9 year old. "I don't want to grow up, Daddy." Dad didn't skip a beat, continued watering, and replied, "We all have to sometime, honey." He gave me a hug, ruffled my hair and kept watering.  That was all. But today, Gerard and I dissected that thought more as I somewhat tearfully said goodbye to my Dad at the airport.

What about growing up made me so sad? So scared? Ultimately, our conversation answered that: The responsibilities of being an adult are challenging and somewhat intimidating at times...But really, when I grow up (and age) that means that so do my parents. They get older too.

I made that statement to my Dad a few months after his mother, my grandma, had passed away. My first encounter with Death (besides our goldfish, Golden Oldie) I didn't want to grow up because that meant that I would lose my parents some day and I didn't want that to ever happen. I didn't want to miss Mom's cooking (however bad she claims it is, it really is quite good), or the way she takes care of me when I'm home visiting, our late-into-the-night chats, hearing Dad sing while I play piano, his matter-of-fact reasoning on politics & finances. . .Everything that make my family MINE, I didn't want to change. But, the fact that it's already the Christmas season of 2010 and not 1995, tells me that days pass and when they do, we're all another day older.

So, today, I'm thankful for Mom's good cooking, her caring and talkative nature, for Dad's ability to sing, that we can share music together, and his mind. And their health. Lord, I am thankful for their good health. Their Christmas card picture was taken on their bike trip from Frankfurt to Munich, Germany. Yes, they biked from Frankfurt to Munich this summer at the just-barely-ripe ages of 64 and 78. I'll give them a shred of privacy and let you guess who's what age.  :)
Let the holiday (and homesick) season begin!

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