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最珍贵的时光

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小编摘要:父母能给孩子的最好礼物就是时间和陪伴,如果您不能给孩子太多时间,那么要给他们优质时间。

father and son

 

 

“史蒂夫,我要怎么做?”迈克哀叹道。
“Steve, what am I going to do?” Mike bemoaned.
我们的朋友迈克终于将见到他的几个儿子了。他和妻子分开后,她就住在另一个洲。他和几个儿子已经一年多没见面了。他们将要搭飞机过来和他团聚,共度一周。
Our friend, Mike, was going to finally see his boys. Separated from his wife, who lived on an entirely different continent, it had been over a year since he’d seen his boys. They were flying in to spend one week with him.
他脸上呈现出的畏惧是真实的。他显然不习惯单独地和他们在一起,特别是一起待上一整周的时间。
The fear on his face was real. He was apparently not used to having them to himself; especially for one whole week.
“我没钱带他们去任何地方,”他说,“我希望能带他们去新布朗费尔斯市的那个水上乐园玩。”
“I don’t have the money to take them anywhere,” he said. “I was hoping to go on down to that water park in New Braunfels.”
“迈克,那个地方很贵的!”史蒂夫反对道,“你不需要花很多钱在玩上!带他们去看泉水;或者加满你的汽油箱,带他们去探寻一些历史遗迹;你还可以借我的帐篷去野营。”
“That place is expensive, Mike!” Steve retorted. “You don’t need to spend a lot of money to have fun! Take them to the springs. Fill up your gas tank and go find some historic sites. You can borrow my tent and go camping.”
从我们这个朋友那一脸厌恶的表情可以判断,这些建议对他来说没任何参考价值。他内心有一种想法根深蒂固:花在他孩子身上的钱等同于他将获得回报的爱。
Judging from the distaste on our friend’s face, none of those suggestions were worthy of conside-ration. Stubbornly ingrained in him was the idea that the amount of money splurged on his children equaled the amount of love he’d get in return.
“你几个儿子喜欢做什么?”我冒昧地问道。
“What do your boys like to do?” I ventured.
他耸了耸肩说道:“我不知道。”
He shrugged, “I don’t know.”
“不,我是在问,他们有什么业余爱好?”
“No, I mean, what are their hobbies?”
我记得我还小的时候,我们一家人一起做的事几乎没有花费什么钱:在一棵很大的橡树下进行一次无拘无束的野餐,跑到人迹罕至的地方,循迹来到一个装满积满灰尘的宝贝的谷仓;饭后和爸妈在街区附近散步。有一年圣诞,我父亲因为不知道要送他的女儿们什么礼物而不知所措,他于是送给我们每个人一个包装好的鞋盒,里面有一张纸,上面只是写着:“我爱你。”我甚至不记得圣诞那天早上我打开了其他什么礼物。
“I’m not sure.”
“我不太清楚。”
My heart filled with compassion for his boys—and for their clueless father. They connected mainly through sporadic, expensive phone calls and through infrequent exchanges of snail mail. Mike wanted to make an impression on his boys: he was successful here in the United States and could afford to take them anywhere they wanted.
我心里充满了对他儿子——以及他们那个对儿子不甚了解的父亲的怜悯之情。他们主要通过不定期拨打费用昂贵的电话以及零星的信件联系。迈克想给他的儿子留下这样一种印象:他在美国这里干得很成功,他们想去哪里玩他都能负担得起费用。
He just didn’t get it.
他只是不得要领。
I remember as a child the things my family did that cost practically nothing at all. A spontaneous picnic under a generous oak, pulling off the beaten path to pursue a trail of signs that led us to a barn filled with dusty treasures. Taking walks around the block with my parents after dinner. One Christmas stood out when, at a loss as to what to give his girls, my dad presented each of us with a wrapped shoebox inside of which was a slip of paper that simply said, “I love you.” I can’t even remember what else I opened that Christmas morning.
我记得我还小的时候,我们一家人一起做的事几乎没有花费什么钱:在一棵很大的橡树下进行一次无拘无束的野餐,跑到人迹罕至的地方,循迹来到一个装满积满灰尘的宝贝的谷仓;饭后和爸妈在街区附近散步。有一年圣诞,我父亲因为不知道要送他的女儿们什么礼物而不知所措,他于是送给我们每个人一个包装好的鞋盒,里面有一张纸,上面只是写着:“我爱你。”我甚至不记得圣诞那天早上我打开了其他什么礼物。
One Sunday afternoon, while on the freeway, Steve veered off to revisit a small town we hadn’t seen in a while and stopped at an empty city park. There, the boys gleefully sampled monkey bars and listless swings. We brushed a layer of leaves off the concrete picnic table and ate sandwiches we had brought from home. Afterwards, they strayed to the edge of a creek, pocketing unusual stones, and swirling patterns in the shallow water with sticks.
一个周日下午,在高速公路上,开着车的史蒂夫改变方向,带我们重游一个我们有好一阵没去的小镇,并在一个空无一人的城市公园里停下。在那里,儿子们很开心地试着玩单杠和那些无精打采垂吊着的秋千。我们拂去用钢筋混凝土筑成的野餐桌上的一层叶子,坐在那里吃从家带过来的三明治。后来,他们闲逛到一条小溪的边上,拣拾一些特别的石头放进口袋,还用棍子在浅水区里搅出一些图案。
I remember with fondness the time when Steve was anxious to instill a love for camping to the older boys, ages three and four at the time.
我记得那时,史蒂夫迫不及待地要培养两个当时分别只有3岁和4岁的儿子对野营的兴趣。
Across the street from our home, under a cluster of gnarled oak trees, Steve spread out fake grass turf, erected a tent on it, and stuffed it with sleeping bags, blankets and pillows. He even placed a potty chair at the entrance of the tent.
穿过我们家附近的那条街道,在一排多节的橡树下面,史蒂夫铺开人造草皮,在上面竖起一个帐篷,并在帐篷里面放置了睡袋、毯子和枕头。他甚至在帐篷入口那里放置了一个便盆椅。
It was unusual spring weather—chilly with light, misting rain. The boys each carried a battery-powered lantern with them to light their way to the tent.
那是个不寻常的春日天气——寒冷,微光照耀,细雨朦朦。儿子们都提着一个带电池的灯笼,用它们照亮通往帐篷的路。
In lawn chairs, around a small campfire that Steve had prepared, the boys roasted marshmallows for the first time on antique extendable forks we had collected over the years in anticipation of that very moment. Steve pointed out constellations and identified a variety of nighttime sounds. We told stories and sang to an audience of trees. And for a while there, with the boys in our laps, we quietly gazed at the campfire’s hypnotic dance, the crackling and smoke filling the silence. Afterwards, we directed the boys to a small picnic table Steve had fashioned out of tree stumps. They brushed their teeth there by lantern-light, removed their shoes, and squealed loudly when they entered the tent, jumping up and down. Steve wasted no time joining their merrymaking.
在史蒂夫已经生好的一小团篝火旁,儿子们坐在草坪椅上,第一次用我们已经收藏很多年、只期待着某个特别的时刻用上的可展开式古董餐叉烤药属葵。史蒂夫指认着天上的星座,并识别夜间的各种声响。我们对着大树讲故事和唱歌。有那么一阵子,我们把儿子们抱在膝盖上,静静地凝视着篝火在跳着催人入睡的舞蹈,四周的寂静里夹杂着劈啪声,烟雾弥漫。后来,我们指引儿子们走向史蒂夫用树干做成的小野餐桌。他们借着灯笼里的光在那儿刷牙,脱鞋。他们进入帐篷后尖声叫喊,跳上跳下。史蒂夫立即就加入到他们的狂欢中。
It’s a sight that will burn brightly in my memory for a long, long time.
那一幕将长久地存在于我的记忆中,一直如新。
Steve liked to earn a little pocket change on occasion by delivering antiques for a dealer friend to various parts of Texas. He’d pack up all four kids and treat them to these road trips. Someone asked him why he didn’t just stick the kids in daycare during those times.
史蒂夫有时喜欢通过帮一个经销商朋友运送古董到德克萨斯州的各个地方来赚些外快。他会把四个孩子一起带上,和他们共度那些旅程。有人问他为什么运货时不直接把孩子们送到托儿所里。
His answer?
猜猜他的回答是什么?
“Where else can a father spend quality time with his children and get paid for it?”
“在哪里还能让一个父亲和孩子们一起共度美好的时光,而且还有薪水领?”
It’s true what they say. Enjoy them while they’re young. The years will zip by, and
他们说的很对:当孩子们还小的时候,享受和他们在一起的时光。光阴似箭,在你能说“膝盖替换手术”之前,他们正为你挑选着一间退休后居住的房屋。
before you can say “knee replacement surgery,” they’re picking out a retirement home for you.
我们的儿子科迪偷听到史蒂夫对某个“需要出去,过一种生活”的人作出的评论。
Our son, Cody, overheard Steve make a comment about someone who “just needed to go out and get a life.”
“爸爸,什么是生活?”
“What’s a life, Dad?”
“生活就是你把握好每一天,并充分利用它。”
“It’s when you take each day and make the most of it.”
“哦,我知道了!”
“Oh, I see!”
我们不知道他是不是真的明白。但我们确实知道——时间是一个人能花在孩子身上的最重要的东西。
We don’t know if he really understood. But we do know that time is the most important thing one can spend on a child.
只是千万别把时间全花在一个地方!
Just don’t spend it all in one place.
20
2011-04-12 08:37 编辑:kuaileyingyu
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