When they pick me up at the airport, they make sure I ride "shot gun" in the front seat. Mom sits in the back so I can have the honored place in the car. Dad does a dry run drive to the site of my seminar in the morning. He wants to make sure I can find my way, and he stops at the hotel where my seminar will be held so I can go in and find out where to park.
Their home is small, so I sleep in the "guest house," their travel trailer. At bedtime, when I head out the door to my little hideaway, my mother asks me if I have a flashlight. No, I assure her there is plenty of moonlight and I'm only walking 30 feet across the driveway to the trailer. Dad doesn't pester me about a flashlight, but he follows me out the front door and stands on the porch to make sure I arrive safely.
When I need to borrow their car to drive to my seminar in Spokane (the reason I got to go visit them in the first place), Dad makes sure the car is filled with gas. He gives me a hand-drawn map to make sure I know how to get to the highway. I almost remind him that Mark and I have driven that route a number of times, but I feel so precious and protected that I only tell him thank you, and I'll be careful to go the right way. Mom packs a lunch for me.
For crying out loud, I am 57 years old and almost in tears at their tenderness. I wish we didn't live so far apart. I wish I could take care of them sometimes. But I am thrilled at their independence and zest for every day. I love being their daughter. I love the way they raised me. And sometimes, just for a couple of days, I am so blessed to be their little girl again.