Friday, April 29, 2011

Take Me to Mexico...

I purchased a bed today to be placed in our newly formed guest room.  We bought our first home in 1992, and lived in several rental properties during the preceding 8 years.  I don’t recall ever having an area in the house designated as a guest room!  As I hauled the mattress and box springs home from a garage sale today, my mind wandered back to about this time of year in 1989.  Jan was expecting Randall around the first of July.  I was so excited about the birth of our firstborn that I bought a baby bed sometime in May and went on and assembled it immediately.  I was a 6’ 150 pound skinny ball of nerves.  But life marches on.

I know this is going to sound odd, but I wish now that I had traveled to Mexico for an extended visit in the months leading up to Randall’s birth.  I have learned so much from my native Mexican friends about family values.  Immediate and extended family members in Mexico spend a lot of time together. Spending time with family is valued and treasured in a way that is difficult for the average American to grasp. 

Unfortunately I grew up in a home where no priority was assigned to spending time with extended family.  Even in our immediate family each person did his own thing for the most part.  We were ahead of the curve in American culture in a sad sort of way.  I wish my travels to Mexico for medical mission efforts would have started about 10 years earlier.  I could have observed a different way of “doing family” before my children were born.

My encouragement to young families would be as follows:  You will buy a baby bed today and then blink, turn around once, and you will be putting a guest room together.  Your baby will be a senior in college.  Treasure the time.  Enjoy each stage of growth.  Don’t rush the process.

This time in life is fun too.  Kids come home. We can play golf and cook outside on the grill.  We can talk about music and a host of other topics.  And I will try my best to imitate my friends who live in Chihuahua City and Torreon.  They are my teachers when it comes to family matters.  And I still have a lot to learn. 

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