In as much as the ancient Hebrew Scriptures advise that children are a heritage or gift from the Lord, as parents we often demonstrate extreme lengths to which we’ll go to help promote our children’s futures. For example, many of us sacrifice and develop a budget that allows for putting money away into a savings plan to help fund their eventual higher education costs. Many parents promote their children by welcoming them home on weekends during their collegiate years to relax in the familiar environment and wash their laundry—or allow their mother to wash their laundry—while they visit their old high school friends. In a word, as parents, we willingly extend ourselves on behalf of our children.
Many of us were greatly helped by our parents as we were establishing our own families and careers. Over the years my mother has always visited us and helped around the house at least once a year while we lived hundreds, or thousands of miles away—even when we lived on the far side of the planet—in Japan. Today, many of us fund our collegiate children’s smart phones and airline tickets to visit us during Christmas and summer breaks. My grandfather who lived nearly to ninety years of age shared the following story of how his mother supported him during his collegiate years.
Although he was raised in upstate New York, as a young man, he attended an agricultural college in Tennessee. In that during the 1940’s coin operated self-help laundry facilities were just being developed, there were no laundry facilities available for my grandfather’s use on or near his campus. Therefore, at his supportive mother’s suggestion he weekly shipped his soiled clothes home via US Post in a heavy wooden crate. She dutifully washed his laundry—by hand—hung them on the line to dry, folded, and repacked them in the same wooden crate and posted them to back to him in Tennessee. Although she likely paid less than fifty cents to ship the bulky twenty pound crate, at today’s prices the same package shipped from Tennessee to upstate New York would cost $30.02 for one-week delivery service, or $112.75 for next-day delivery. Now that’s expensive laundry service!
Psalm 127:3, and 5a
3 Behold, children are a gift of the Lord…
5 How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them;