Dad told lots of stories that painted a picture of what life was like when he was a kid.
When dad was a kid, dad walked several miles every day uphill in a rainstorm and downhill in a tsunami to get to school. Sometimes he would walk the same length in stifling heat. True or false? In the mind of a child there inevitably is some truth in their hardships but one thing is inescapable – he walked.
When dad was a kid he walked everywhere because his family did not own a car nor could he afford taxi or bus fare. Honestly in that day and age his feet were probably the only mode of transportation that he was really comfortable using because automobiles were scarce, foreign and scary. No luxury sedans or SUV drop-off’s or pick-up’s just two bare feet walking on dusty unpaved roads from one necessary destination to another.
When dad was a kid he owned just one threadbare school uniform that he washed every evening after school and hung it up to dry overnight so that it would be ready for the next day of classes. No designer jeans, no fitted shirts and no $135 shoes; just what was necessary. No more, no less.
When dad was a kid his “workout’s” consisted of things like mowing the lawn, repairing fences, planting a vegetable garden, cleaning up around the house and caring for the animals. No high priced Yoga instructors and personal trainer’s just two good hands and a rock solid work ethic and a desire to pitch in where help was needed. His was a healthy, trim body with muscles made hard through labor.
When dad was a kid his weight loss plan really wasn’t a weight loss plan at all because of the active and productive things he had to do on a daily basis. His active lifestyle required him to eat a large meal rich with carbohydrates and starches because if he didn’t he would not be able to sustain the ‘workout’, his school schedule and the frequent chores that he was asked to do. No fast food joints, no grab-and-go grease, no fancy toy with your chicken gut-bombs in its pretty eco-friendly packaging – just basic stuff to sustain and maintain life.
When dad was a kid he played. No Xbox, no Internet, no iPhone, iPad or iPod and no wii. He tore out of the house when he could get away from the grown-up worries and cares each evening to find friends that he would run with from early dusk until the crickets sang their ‘time to go home’ songs. Play-time was serious fun and serious fun made memories while he developed muscle memory at play.
When dad was a kid we sat around and conversed with one another. No television, no Jersey Shore, no headphones, no Eminem, no angry headbangers screaming ‘down with the establishment’; just quiet conversations that began with open ended questions and evolved into deep, meaningful, treasured things. They were things that engaged our minds and tied emotional filaments around our hearts that could not be broken by weather, by time or by our differences.
Yes, times have changed since dad was a boy and life truly, indefinitely evolves. But you have to wonder sometimes what could happen if we take a moment to revisit and snatch up some of the things that those kids who became our dads did before they became…dads. Would I be more active, work a lot harder, eat better, be less materialistic, pay more attention and listen more intently? I wonder.