It’s true. I am a part of a cult. It’s called Fit Bit. Do you have a Fit Bit? If you do, there’s a good chance you know what I mean.
I asked for a Fit Bit for Christmas. Do you know what a Fit Bit is? If you don’t, there’s a chance you just woke up from a ten year coma. You might want to check with your doctor about that. Here’s what a Fit Bit looks like:
At first, Scott scoffed at me for wanting a Fit Bit. He doesn’t get it. He said, “I just can’t get you one of those. It’s the principle of the thing. If you want to work out, just work out. You don’t need an expensive watch to motivate you.”
But, I do need an expensive watch to motivate me.
Exercising is literally Scott’s favorite thing to do. He doesn’t do it to lose weight. He doesn’t do it to impress people. He does it because it brings him joy. If Scott couldn’t exercise, he’d be a sad man. I’m not braggin’ on him. That’s just how God made him. Lucky Scott.
I have always been somewhat interested in health and fitness, but always have to find new things to stay motivated. That’s why I wanted a Fit Bit. It’s a watch that grades my effort every day. It tells me at 4pm that if I don’t get moving, I’m getting a C – for the day. Then, I get off my butt. Start moving, and bring home an A+. You’re not literally graded. They count your steps. But, for me, it’s like a report card.
After Scott’s impassioned anti-Fit Bit speech, I really thought I wasn’t getting one. But, guess what? I have a 13-year-old daughter now, and she is my ally. The way I heard it is that Olivia and Scott were out doing their Christmas shopping, and Olivia said this, “Dad. I know you don’t want a Fit Bit, and you would never wear a Fit Bit. But, this present isn’t for you. Giving a gift means you are thinking about someone else. You consider their needs and interests, and give them a gift you think they will enjoy. It isn’t about what YOU want.”
Wow. Having a daughter is AWESOME!!!
I love my Fit Bit. I got off to a little bit of slow start, because I got the rotten lung over Christmas. But, I did my best. Now, I’m better, and this thing is keeping me moving. I’m not sure if I’ll get sick of it, or not. I hope I don’t. I don’t really have a track record of getting tired of and/or discarding things we’ve spent our precious dollars to have. We bought a treadmill before Eddie was born, and we wore that sucker down to nothin’. It lasted 11 years. I hope this Fit Bit does too.
I have two other sisters who have Fit Bits. So we talked about Fit Bits a lot at Christmas. We said we liked our Fit Bits. We wanted to wear our Fit Bits. We wondered if our Fit Bits were working. We used the words Fit Bit many times. Because, that’s what you do when you have a Fit Bit. You say Fit Bit. A lot.
After listening to hours of Fit Bit talk, one of my non-Fit Bit wearing sisters eventually told us she’d really like to tell us where to put all of our Fit Bits. I think she’s the one who said Fit Bit is a cult. She might be right.
I was thinking about something besides Fit Bits over Christmas. I was thinking about my parents, especially my Dad. I think I told you that he only has a fraction of his sight left. I enjoyed watching my sisters fuss over him. I really would like to know how to make sure my kids will fuss over me when I can’t do all the things I once did. I think that’s a nice thing for families to do.
I tried to really give it some thought. What is it about my Dad’s new vulnerability that brings out this fierce protectiveness in his daughters? I was working that over in my head when I had a sudden flash of memory. I remembered a pleasant drive I had with my Dad one Christmas. I was in high school. It was Christmas break, and I couldn’t get to my sister’s house in Green Bay when the rest of the family did, because I had basketball practice. Everyone else went ahead, and my Dad stayed back with me. By the time we could leave for Green Bay, the temperatures had dipped dangerously low. We left anyway, and I wasn’t worried at all. I knew my Dad would take care of me.
It’s weird how I remember obscure things. I don’t know why I remember that car ride, but I do. I felt so happy and content to be driving with my Dad to see the rest of the family. I actually remember feeling safe and protected.
And, I think that’s it. I think THAT is the answer to my question. When parents are in good working order, they give their kids the luxury of feeling safe. The luxury of not having to worry about how things are going to work out. When it is going right, kids take it for granted that their parents are strong, competent and ready to take on all the grown upish worries, so kids don’t have to.
I think that’s why seeing our parents at this end of their lives is making their daughters hover; wanting to make sure their parents’ every need is met. Our safe place of strength is vulnerable now. When my sisters and I were young, we wouldn’t have believed it could happen. Now that it has, we know what to do. We know how to protect, serve and offer safety to vulnerable people we love. We know, because our parents taught us.