I always wanted to have parents that I could see into their twilight years and to have a family of my own some day. To be able to go to Dad, for advice. To be happy to see Mom, when I visit home. I wanted to have my own family, a husband, a wife, the kids; so some day, they could come to see their parents, have the same experiences.
One day, to have the kids to move out, go to college, go off to have lives of their own and then all of us be happy whenever we get a chance to visit. Maybe go on vacations together, from time to time.
But, that simply was not to be.
Dad, left Mom when I was 4. We were living in Spain, 1958. Mom later divorced Dad when I was five, 1959; we were in Philadelphia at the time. Mom remarried some ex musician. She seemed to like to get married. My Dad was her third husband. Then the 60s hit. Life was, weird. All I wanted to do, was move out. Then I graduated High School, and at seventeen, I did. I was outta there, baby.
At nineteen, I joined the service, entered at twenty, got out at twenty-five. University was over by thirty. Then I started my professional level mistakes. This all after my five year marriage at twenty was over. When I got in the service, they said I would leave my main base single. Everyone seemed to. But I made it out married. Ha! But then, we divorced that next year.
I surfed through my life, riding the high waves, and low. I tried hard to not allow my son to have the kind of home life I did as a kid. Yet, oddly, he had nearly the same experience. I wanted my daughter to have a great childhood and in many ways she did, but in the end, I realize she didn't. She has had to clean up her past, just as I had, just as my son had to do.
The point here is this.
There is no real reason people can't have this perfect life. First realize, no life is perfect. Look at any family. Its a constant work in progress with periods of anger, love, fun, misery.
It takes working on a concept of perseverance, loyalty, faith in oneself, from very young. That means, parents have to install this into the kids. How? Figure it out. Talk about it, live it, educate the kids, give them a normal, and regardless of that, a loving environment. Have the right attitude. Pick the right person, carefully, take your time and when you find them, stick together through thick and thin and remain friends.
First and foremost, to grow through life, together.
To work at having a relationship, first and foremost means that sometimes your children will suffer for it, but hopefully, only slightly and for the benefit of their parents remaining together for their life time. Then in the end, the kids will benefit from it also.
Something that most children, if asked, would happily sacrifice part of their lives for. And if not, they would, if they had to experience the alternatives. You're the parent, think, for them, for you, for your family. But you have to start as soon and as young, as possible.