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The call
The call
Scott Dunlop

Good morning, award-winning parents,

You won’t ever win an award for parenting. The best you could hope for is to be thanked in your child’s acceptance speech at some future event, (hopefully an event which provides a cash award big enough to cover your twilight years at Shady Pines). No, you won’t win a parenting award, but you can appreciate your kids right now.

Did you watch the 2015 Academy Awards? I think one of the highlights was J.K. Simmons’ acceptance speech for the Best Supporting Actor award. Without hesitating, he expressed gratitude for his remarkable wife and his “above-average” children. Then he launched an appeal to his audience of millions:

“If I may, everybody- call your mom, call your dad… if you’re lucky enough to have a parent or two alive on this planet, call them. Don’t text them, don’t email them- call them on the phone and tell them you love them, and thank them.”

I like that.

In an environment like Hollywood, it must be easy to forget your parents. In fact, it can be shockingly easy no matter what your environment is.
My own days of calling my parents are over, but I think it’s something worth remembering with other family members and friends. It’s a great habit to cultivate. The call.

My mum used to write long letters to me, and her voice on my birthday when she called me up to sing at some ghastly hour is something I miss more than I could express. I know this is how many people feel that have lost their parents. What we’d give for one more call…

Social media has created new ways of keeping in touch, but Facebook status updates can’t replace a relationship. Sure, if you’re not nearby your parents (or your kids) social media can be useful for sharing your news, photos, thoughts and activities, but there’s nothing quite like calling someone up (or, better yet, visiting that person).

Now, I have no idea where my children will and up as adults. Will they ever win awards? Well, I do want them to be happy and successful, but more than awards, I’d love to have them as adults just call me up to tell me they love me, to talk nonsense and for no reason at all.

That would be reward enough for me.

Is your extended family close? How do you manage to stay in touch with each other?

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