I was never one of those girls in junior high or high school who was best friends with her mom. I was, for the lack of a better term, a quintessential teenager who was mortified to even be seen with my parents. I was totally the:
“Please, dear God, drop me off around the block. YOU ARE SO EMBARRASSING, DAD… UGHHH” (Wasn’t I a peach?)
I never understood how these other girls in my grade were always hanging out with THEIR MOM. Really, you’re going to the mall with your mom? No thanks. I’ll do that twice a year, once for the dreaded back-to-school spree and maybe again when I need some new gym tennies.
My mom would tell me stories of her friends who had daughters older than me:
“One day, you’ll just hit a point and realize that I’m not crazy.”
Yeah, OKAY mom. Ugh, could you please close my door on your way OUT? (Again, ‘daughter-of-the-year’ quality here)
Well, like most of you have probably realized, in some frightening dimension of the universe, our parents were right… about basically everything. I can almost pinpoint an exact time in which I woke up from the cloud that was my indifference towards my parents.
It was sometime during college. I don’t remember why or how exactly, but I just began to see my parents a little differently. Aside from the fact I realized that I was extremely lucky to have two parents who loved me unconditionally and really didn’t screw me up in the head too much, I began to see my college friends and work acquaintances who had suffered from receiving the short end of the stick on the parent tree.
These other parents put extreme pressures on their kids to succeed, or their body image, or even brought their own petty dramas down onto their children, etc. Making a comparison, I was SO lucky. What was I so bent out of shape about? Growing up with these knuckleheads, I had two loving parents who stood beside me my whole life with unwavering support. Slowly but surely I began to not only respect my parents but also appreciate them.
Now, I can’t imagine my parents playing in the chorus of the big, dramatic play that is my life – they are leading cast members. My parents became the main people I could count on in my life. Chances are, the troubles I have or the stresses I face, they’ve been there before. I can’t think of a better person who you’d want to get advice from than those who simply will always want the best for you. Now when I’m broken hearted (yet again) I click “Home” on the speed dial. Or when an amazing job opportunity comes my way I can’t decide who to email first, Mom or Dad?! (Or just send it to the email address that they still share – aren’t they adorable?)
It turns out they were right all along about how I’d finally come around. Also turns out, they are right about everything else. They were right about the little things like, making sure to eat your vegetables, how to check out the sales rack first, that there is a Bob Seger song that fits any situation you’re going through, and to say “please and thank-you”.
And they were right about the big things like money and savings, that heartbreaks will eventually pass, how sometimes change can be good, how my sister would become one of my most trusted friends, and that time does heal all. Before the tune, “I wish that I knew what I know now, when I was younger,” starts in, I’ll confess, I do look back and regret how much time I wasted fighting against the current. But I probably wouldn’t appreciate them as much as I do now…
Now, if you’re feeling similar to what I’ve been blabbing on about, go thank your parents! Do it now. We always hear parents saying, “My kids are the best thing I ever did.” Go thank them for doing that! These people, these amazing people who created you out of nothing are the two most enthusiastic cheerleaders you are ever going to have. Relish in this. Feel lucky, feel extremely lucky. Go give your mom and dad a hug.