The fifth commandment in the Bible states “Thou Shall honor thy father and thy mother.”
There is more to that commandment, but you get the gist of the meaning.
It is during this period between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, I am reminded of my own parents and pleased to say, that I honor my parents every day. Because even though they have both been gone for more than 10 years, they are still “long upon the land” and live in my head. Their expressions keep popping up and I say “Okay, Claire and Dave, I hear you.”
One of the phrases is “Buck up.” My father loved to say this one. It was said to me or one of my siblings when we would be whining because the tire on a bicycle was low or maybe we missed our favorite television show. It may have been because someone snubbed us, or we stubbed a toe. Unless we were bleeding and sobbing, we would hear. “Buck up!”
Now in his defense, I will say that it was usually followed by productive comments recommending that if there was something wrong, we should attempt to address it ourselves but it was also a reminder that he had confidence in us to handle a situation.
When I went looking for definitions for “Buck Up”, I found one from the Free Dictionary online. “To adopt a positive outlook, attitude, or mood when one is upset or discouraged.”
When I told a friend about Dad’s comments, she thought they were a bit harsh, but in truth, we always knew that Dad said it with love and kindness. I think he learned it from his own father.
Grandpa Smith was 6 years old when his own father died, and I think his mother had a lot to deal with my grandfather and his six older siblings.
“Buck up” probably worked very well for her.
My mother had other versions like “Grow up,” “Stop your whining,” or maybe “Count your blessings,” but the sentiment was the same. Your life is pretty darn good and if you have a problem handle it yourself or ask for help, but do not complain about it.
I have been hearing Dad and Mom lately when I have been whining about my hair salon and pool closed, along with other mild inconveniences. The “Buck up” reverberates in my brain as I guiltily sit on my back porch on a beautiful afternoon reading a book or talking with my grandkids on FaceTime.
So, even though I did not appreciate some of their quips in response to my grumbling when I was a child, it is nice to still honor them to this day.
Congratulations, I have bucked up.
Lee Scott, a writer and recent retiree, shares her everyday observations about life after career. A former commercial banker responsible for helping her clients to reach their business objectives, Scott now translates those analytical skills to her writings. She lives on St. Helena Island and enjoys boating, traveling and reading.