Trust is letting go of needing to know all the details before you open your heart. ~Author Unknown
Learning to trust my two young sons is a daily exercise. It takes patience and self-restraint to watch them as they make decisions – some of them good and some, not so good. Through this process, I know they will become more independent and self-sufficient.
My sons are aware of their surroundings, know not to take rides from strangers, and do their best to use common sense. As they navigate through their daily lives, they are under my watchful eye and as they grow and push for more independence. On the flip side, I am dealing with my Dad who is fighting to preserve his own.
My current battle with my dad is about his mail. A year and a half ago, he sent in a “donation” check to an obscure veteran’s group that had sent a letter requesting a donation.
“What is this in the check register?” I asked.
“A veteran’s group requested a donation, so I sent them $100.00” my Dad replied.
“How about this one?”
“Helping a child overseas” he simply stated.
I went through his register and noticed several checks in various amounts for a variety of causes.
I rolled my eyes.
“Please do not send any more money.”
“Why? I like to help people” was his naive and innocent response.
We ping-ponged this conversation back and forth until I told him that for every donation he sends, he is added to ten more mailing lists and that more and more junk mail will land in his mailbox.
My Dad is trusting and the solicitors who request donations know it: he is now receiving stacks of unwanted mail. When the mail comes, he opens the envelopes and reviews the requests for surveys, polls, opinions, and donations; he doesn’t want me handling the mail because it would make him feel less useful around the house. I secretly collect it and run it through the shredder. He has no idea.
The negotiating we have over the mail is like the constant and repetitious negotiating I do with my boys when they want screen time. I trust my boys online but there are guidelines and they know I will take the media away from them if they don’t follow the rules.
I try hard to trust my Dad with the mail and we’ve agreed that he will go through the mail when he’s home and I will go through it when he travels. It’s not my preferred solution, but it’s what he wants, and it gives him something to do.
The other day he thanked me for going through his mail while he was away on a fishing trip.
As he gave me a hug goodbye I couldn’t help but chuckle: in the depths of my purse was all of his junk mail keeping two PS4 gaming controllers company.