In this day and age of two-income families and constant tech-interruptions (email, cell phones, etc.), I think it must be especially difficult for parents to find the time to make memorable moments with their children.
Papa worked twelve to fourteen hour days on his business. To let my sister, brother and me know he cared, he would get
up an extra hour early in the morning, so he could get dressed and ready for work, and then wake each of us up for school. He would quietly come into the room, carefully sit on the edge of the bed and say, “It’s time for a back rub.” He’d gently massage our backs for five to ten minutes until we were fully awake and ready to get up and dressed for school.
I was the only kid I knew who didn’t wake to the blare of an alarm clock. Papa did that for us every single morning of our elementary and early high school years. There are traditionally 180 school days in a year. Multiply that by three kids and you’ll find Papa gave 540 back rubs a year!
Often, as Papa rubbed our backs he’d whisper a word or two of encouragement. And he’d often finish the back rub by saying, “I love you. You know that, right?” It wasn’t just a declaration of his love, but a request for acknowledgement of what he had said. Papa wanted to be sure we got the message.
Papa’s morning back rub ritual and his intentional declaration of love are treasured memories for our family. You are welcome to carry on his tradition with your family and loved ones too.