Everybody wants their kids to be like Gus and Capt. Woodrow Call…o.k. maybe like Gus…

That wonder Larry McMurtry nailed good guys when he built Gus and Capt. Call in “Lonesome Dove”. What got me thinking about these two rascals was a talk I had with my daughter.   We were discussing life and just how it effects different people different ways , she went and said and did the most lovely thing without even knowing it.

It seems that over the course of the last few years my kids have had the conversation on just how lucky they were to have a Mom like me. Because, in their eyes I was a pretty tough Mom. They went away to College, they went away…I didn’t send them money. I supported them only with my love and thoughts and wishes (and about a billion phone calls) but they put themselves through College and have three Masters between the two of them and I wouldn’t be at all surprised some day to address each of them as Doctor. From the time they were little I told them just how smart, competent and tough they were. And now they are. The way has been very very tough for these two but they kept on because that’s what their made of. Disputes with Deans, let downs by partners both personal and scholastic …real life major pains not to mention the ongoing financial chaos and tenacity to just get it done. Now, I know they didn’t get a lot of their abilities from their father and I. We couldn’t even manage to hold onto a house when these two were little. These poor kids were moved seven time in six years. And still ended up spending most of their life at their Granddad’s house. No, their financial abilities and educational achievements have been strictly their own amazing accomplishments. And I am so proud.

   My Daughter said, “Mom, my brother and I are so thankful that you raised us like you did. We always knew you loved us, no matter what.” Now these two grew up pretty poor. I worked nights in a bank operations and my ex husband when he could find work was working at “Manpower” in Cleveland a temp agency that barely paid minimum wage. 

  I don’t get it…all these years I felt bad not being able to give things, and It turns out all along without knowing it I was giving what they really needed anyway, all my love, and devotion. And criticizing and trying to help and being told no. I was doing what every Mother does. Anyway the point of this was to say that here’s a young woman who when this financial mess hit had become a master at handling her own budget and what she and her brother were trying to thank me for was bringing them up to do just that, be capable of taking care of themselves. Amazing. All it took was faith, and I had that faith in them all along.

    It turns out that in parenting its not what you give you child that counts, it’s teaching them that they can do without and perhaps live more fully and be more satisfied by not needing so so much to be better or have more or work faster and better than everyone else. Tis’ teaching them the importance of really taking their time and being really present and only needing the important things. You can always buy more things you can’t replace character. So I tried to provide them with a place where they could have food see love, laughter, respect and dignity these were and still are their only needs. 


Parenting, everyone wants “Lonesome Dove” guys and girls, and I’d venture to say my two are just like Gus McCrae and his Clara. They see the world as it is and just do nothing but make the way better for all of us with their wit laughter and strength. McMurtry may have painted such characters but they live in my family. And I am so proud of them.

2 responses to “Everybody wants their kids to be like Gus and Capt. Woodrow Call…o.k. maybe like Gus…

  1. Ma, it’s so true – Cas and I are forever grateful for all that you’ve given us. It’s like that “give a man a fish/teach a man to fish” saying. You gave us the tools we needed to catch our fish.

  2. Laura Grey Stultz

    This made me cry, because it is so true. You did a great job with them. I am so freaking proud of them. I miss you all like crazy now.

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