Wednesday, January 6, 2016

What Goes Around, Comes Around.

You are probably familiar with the idiom, "What goes around, comes around." According to the definition offered in The Free Dictionary by Farlex, this means "The results of things that one has done will someday have an effect on the person who started the events." I have found this to be true in my own life.

Just as I started high school, my family moved to Mallorca, Spain. For four years I attended the American School of Mallorca and I lived at home, but a high percentage of the students were boarders.

American School, Spain,
Many of my friends lived in the rooms in this building at the American School of Mallorca.
My family would often invite some of the boarding students over for dinner or the weekend. My mom and dad were generous with help, parental advice, or support for these kids when it was needed. My parents
told me that they liked doing things for my friends, because "someday our children will be far from us, and we'd like to think that if we do these things now, other people will be supportive when and if one of you needs help." That conversation is one that I have never forgotten.

School trip
For school trips we sometimes rode on buses. However, it was not uncommon for my mom to pile kids (more than would legally be allowed with today's seat belt laws!) into our station wagon and drive the winding roads of the island to basketball games or other events.
School morning with my sisters
On weekday mornings it was usually just my three sisters and I walking to school from our house, but after school or on weekends we were frequently accompanied by friends.
We didn't have to wait long to test my parent's theory. After being home for the Christmas break of my freshman year, I stopped off in Pennsylvania before returning to the University of Delaware. One of my previously mentioned high school friends had moved to Pittsburgh with her family, and I was thrilled to have an opportunity to see her again. 

Unfortunately, a fun afternoon of sledding during that visit ended with me having a badly broken leg. I will be forever grateful to my friend's mother, for helping me to navigate the hospital system and return to college. This was long before International communications were as easy as they are now. I was acutely aware of how far I was from my own parents, and I would have felt quite helpless without her assistance. 


broken leg in the hospital
This is me, during the 3 days I was hospitalized for my broken leg in Pittsburgh.
This experience cemented for me the belief that good deeds are something that get passed around. As a mother now, I have always tried to be supportive of my kid's friends, and I totally understand my parent's philosophy. My husband and I have raised our children to be resourceful and independent. I do hope, however, that if they ever are feeling lost or in need of help while away from home, someone physically present will step in and be there for them, almost as their dad or I would if we could. 

I just read a beautifully written article by Julianne Palumbo that prompted these thoughts and memories. Having played the role of both the mother and the daughter in this story, it spoke to me on many levels. I shed a tear while reading it, and I suspect that you will too. Just click on this link to read her article:


Daughter, Near and Far by Julianne Palumbo


University of Delaware Fighting Blue Hen - with a broken leg
This picture of the U. of Delaware mascot (a Fighting Blue Hen) was in my photo album; I'm sure I thought it was pertinent because the casted leg - but as a mother I now see all the other perils pictured that can befall a college student! Being in a non-walking cast for 12-weeks proved challenging. I ended up withdrawing that semester and later attending a different school. But, that's another story!
News about guns; unsettled weather patterns; terrorist acts; and the testing of new hydrogen bombs, as well as worries about accidents; stressful moments and all the small daily challenges of life can weigh heavily on a distant parent's mind. 

Thank goodness for all the mothers (and fathers) who have each other's backs. 

Do you have a memory of a time when a parent besides your own really helped you out?

This post may be linked to one of the great link-up parties I follow and list on my blog. Check them out!

18 comments :

  1. What a great post and a beautiful sentiment Susan. As an only child I was always out of the house and visiting my best freinds. I practically lived there when I was young and remember seeing my friend's mother as my second mother. She was such a wonderful, kind woman. And now that I am a mom I try to be extra nice to my kid's friends. Yes what goes around has come around to me!

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    1. I'm glad for you Mary. It sounds like your friend's mother was a very special person.

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  2. A lovely post, Susan. With my two having returned to their colleges on Monday it was especially timely.

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    1. Thanks Kelly - that break went by awfully quickly, didn't it!

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  3. Your parents sound like really good people Susan and that passes down through the generations. It's always great when you see good being passed forward. Great post (I love positive messages!)

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    1. i love positive messages as well Leanne. And yes - I do think that my parents are really good!

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  4. I cannot even imagine being that far from Jax if he got hurt! I sure hope somebody would step up and help him. I hope we are the house that everyone loves to come to when he is a little older too. It'll be fun to see how we all evolve!

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    1. Even now, with my kids both bigger than me, I hate the thought of them being ill or injured when I am not nearby to help them Carlee. It is nice to think that someone else would be there for them though! And I am sure that your house will be a gathering spot - just bake up one of your recipes and the kids will flock to your house!

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  5. Oh yes, my eyes leaked.
    I am indeed a believer that way goes around comes around, but do wish (often) that it would come around a lot sooner in some cases.

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    1. True - good things are worth waiting for - but sometimes it is better if they are there right away!

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  6. One of the hardest parts of parenting is having our kids far away where we can't help them if needed. Such a beautiful post Susan, and I enjoyed the article by Julianne as well. We also try to be there for our boys' friends, and I hope it's reciprocated if needed someday!

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    1. I have no doubt that all your boy's friends feel welcome in your home and supported by you Lana. Julianne's article is really beautiful, isn't it.

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  7. Great post! I've never thought about it like that before, but I am always so glad when other parents positively impact my kids!

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    1. It is an interesting perspective, isn't it?

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  8. I remember staying all night with my best friend and her father had taken my car the next morning while we were still asleep and had 4 brand new tires put on it for me. I was so touched as it was not long after my own dad had passed away. I never forgot about that. As a matter of fact he recently passed away and his daughter and I were just talking about it! I've always tried to do that as well with my kids friends for the exact same reason. My husband and I are really big believers in karma and believe that putting good into the world brings good back. We never pass by a broken down motorist without stopping to help and we have been saved a few times as well.

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    1. What a thoughtful gesture by your friend's dad. I suspect you spread a lot of good karma around Rena - and glad to hear that it comes back to you sometimes!

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  9. I was so shy that I never ventured far enough from home to need other parents' help. You were so fortunate to have your friend's mother there for you when you broke your leg. My sister was there for me when I broke mine in a college ice skating class we were both taking. Your parents sound like wonderful role models and I am sure you are a caring, supportive surrogate mom to your children's friends. Going to read the article you linked. Thank you for a heart-warming post.

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    1. Thanks for such a lovely comment Leslie - I suspect you will have really liked the article I linked as well. Sorry to hear about your broken leg... was it as disruptive to your studies as mine was? (Actually - a lot of good things came to me as a result of that fracture though!)

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