Thursday, May 7, 2009

Bragging Parents

Did reading the above title strike a “chord” in your mind? Or, do you NOT know of any parents who are so “obsessively” proud of their offspring(s) that they “brag” about them to everyone ?

I have some experience in this area.

In fact, if I DON’T have an “experience” of some subject, I just don’t write about it - at least not on this blog. Sharing my experiences is what this is all about!

Aside: I’ve just had a “secular epiphany” again:

I started a new book by the Artist and Author, Thomas Kinkade. This is the fourth one of his that I’ve picked up, and aside from the fact that I have read them in an “improper order” - that is, they seem to be continued stories - I am really enjoying this author. He was recommended to me by our daughter-in-law, Joyce, and her mother Charlotte.

Here’s the deal: In this book, while remarking about the writing of a “journal”, reference is made to “free association” writing. I’d never heard that phrase before, so I looked it up in my Encarta World English Dictionary. The definition, it seems to me, ACCURATELY describes MY writing on this blog:

Free Association:

the spontaneous and uncensored expression of thoughts or ideas, in which each one is allowed to lead to or suggest the next.

Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Isn’t that what I’ve been doing?!? I can’t think of a better description of what I’ve been writing on this blog these months.

Back to “Bragging Parents”.

As I’ve thought about this subject since last night, I’ve remembered two or three instances that would qualify for this posting. Previous postings tell me that as I begin to write, OTHER experiences will probably “raise their ugly heads”.

Note: In the interest of “full disclosure”, I have to admit that this subject - along with others in the same way - just came to me after retiring last night. When that happens, I jot down the subject on my Word Processor; my BlackBerry; or just on a piece of paper; if the computer is not available. At my age, I can’t just expect my recall to bring it up again at a propitious moment.

MANY thoughts soar through my mind all the time - not the least of which is as the result of a book that I am reading at that time. I think I previously related that I read at least 3 books a week from the Library - in addition to the Bible, and an occasional book from the “library” here at The Grand Court.

As most of us experience, our minds are constantly working, analyzing, praying, thinking wholesome thoughts (or UN-wholesome) , and otherwise wander. Doesn’t yours?

Oh well, the basic subject of this posting is “bragging” - specifically about children or relatives.

What is bragging?

to talk with excessive pride about an achievement or possession

Excessive pride?

feeling of superiority: a haughty attitude shown by somebody who believes, often unjustifiably, that he or she is better than others

Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Here are some examples, that I’m aware of:

The father of a classmate of mine, throughout the small town I lived in, was known as a “braggart” - about his son. He was always talking to anyone who would listen, about “my boy John”. It got to be embarrassing - not only to him, but also to those who listened. This went on all through the son’s experience in World War II - and beyond. Fortunately, much of the time, “John” was away in the Army, and didn’t suffer any embarrassment because of it.

A little closer to home - during the last couple years of my father’s life, he lived with Jean and me. His name was “Walter”.

He was enthralled about the fact that I was in charge of WEEC, the Christian station in Springfield. While with us, he joined us as we went to Sunday Church services, as well as some Christian concerts in our area.

Though there were certainly other instances of what I’ve been talking about, I think, the one I most remember was when Peggy Bush - a local singer heard on WEEC - was having a concert at her local church in Bellefontaine. Dad went along with Jean and me to the concert. At an intermission, we left our seats near the front, and went toward the door. Dad went along, and I overheard him say to someone, “Don’t they know that Mike Maddex is here?” (Horror of horrors to him, I had NOT been introduced!)

I was chagrined, and later called him on it.

So much for my hope that my modesty would be realized by everyone.

And, here are three “painful” memories of MINE on this subject:

Our son Jim sings in different choirs and choral groups. Last December, he sang with the local group that performed with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra. He contacted me in Northwest Indiana, and said he wanted me to come to the concert. We both like music.

I arranged to take the Bus to Toledo, transferring in 2 ½ hours to a bus for Dayton, where he picked me up. That was on a Friday night. There was a kind of “dress rehearsal” with the full Symphony on Saturday, with the concert being Sunday night.

I went with him to the rehearsal, and along with his family, for the Sunday concert. Looking back, I see that I used every opportunity I could to tell people that our son sang in that choir. Even now telling it, I feel like I’m bragging - and I guess I am. I’ve done it before as well.

There’s more.

Our daughter Martha and her family lived in South Charleston. Part of that community’s “lore” was, and is, the annual show put on at the South Charleston Opera House by local amateur “thespians”. Her husband, Rick, has participated in that “show” for years. We attended several of them.

One year, Martha took part in the show - kind of an “amateur hour” - so to speak. Besides some speaking parts, she sang two songs.

At the intermission after Martha’s songs, being right down in the second row, I turned to Don Bishop, a retired banker from Springfield, and said “That singer, Martha, is our daughter.” (Glory be! Did it really happen?) Ask my daughter-in-law Tonya, because she said, “Sit down, Walter!” - of course, referring to my dad who had done the same thing some years before, about me. I was again, “chagrined”. This time at myself.

There are maybe some more of these episodes I could relate, like one telling of my “bragging” about our son John’s description of his Christian Journey, posted on his daughter’s blog: “Close to Home”.

(Just this week!)

I wrote on Molly’s Blog, “I was thrilled with the interview my son, John, (your dad) gave on this program. His explanations were SO clear.”

Another thing I said was, “I’m proud to be a progenitor of your whole family…..”


Parental Bragging!

Now, I’m sorry. I’ve got to stop. If you’ll forgive me, I’ve got to do something about this “red face”, so I think I’ll end this right here.


(You may fill-in your own Scripture references here, about my braggadocio, and other sinful actions. I hope I don’t feel like any more confessions in the future. Have mercy!)

No comments: