On Monday I am going to recap my Spring Cleaning to-do list, but Monday is also my parents’ 29th anniversary. Keeping with the theme, Sunday is Father’s Day. My parents aren’t super keen on appearing on my blog, but today I’m going to talk about them.
My family has always consisted of Mom, Dad, Fred, and myself (plus a sprinkle of pets). As children, Fred and I knew that we were lucky to have parents that were married to one another. A lot of my brother’s friends had divorced parents and he fretted about it. (I remember he once got upset because Mom & Dad disagreed on a TV station.) Never once in my +25 years have I worried about my parents splitting up.
When I was younger if you’d have asked me who my hero(s) was I probably would’ve drawn a blank. For the most part I didn’t idolize anyone. Or at least I didn’t think I did.
It’s stupid that it took me years to realize that my parents are two of the best people in my life. Until recently, my parents weren’t my friends. Until recently, they didn’t want to be my friends. They wanted to be teachers and counselors and guides- but not my friends. When I became an adult that changed.
I was a mouthy teenager. I was much kinder to my dad than my mom. I was moody and anxious and secretive. Those were crappy years for Mom. But they never, ever told me not to hang out with people. They never told me to quit an activity or class or project. They welcomed our friends and always provided food or shelter or love to the kids (and pets) that Fred and I brought home. They drove me from A to B and celebrated when I got my license and cheered when I graduated from high school and worried a little but also beamed with joy when K asked me out. Despite all that, they often got the nasty, hurtful, scowling side of me.
But something changed when I graduated college. Our relationship shifted. A veil of angst was lifted and I could clearly see everything they’d done for me (and Fred) over the course of my life. And I realized that all my habits and thoughts and manners and wisdom were a direct product of their parenting.
Mom once told me that she tells Dad everything. She said they keep my secrets as a couple, but she won’t keep things from my dad- they parent together. I also watched them plant gardens together and travel together and talk about money together. And after a few years of my own marriage I realize that I model our marriage on my mom and dad. K knows everything about me and we can do anything together. I have so much respect for him and I take pride in his accomplishments- just like my parents do with one another.
The relationship I have with Mom and Dad couldn’t have existed when I was younger. Their roles were different; my attitude and behavior was different. I appreciate the traveling and the chores and the restrictions they implemented when I was young. And I now appreciate the confidence and love and support and friendship they offer now.
I look forward to calling Mom on a Saturday morning and asking if she wants run errands with me or see a movie. K and my dad go to lunch together and work on projects or vehicles alongside one another. Sometimes they call one another to chat. We spend Saturday nights in their backyard around a fire with my parents and their friends. The shift from ward to friend was seamless. I don’t even know when it happened.
So in honor of Father’s Day, I just wanted to say that my dad and mom are incredible at parenting. They really were (and are) amazing at being “mom” and “dad.” And in honor of their 29th anniversary, my parents are role models. I didn’t know it for the longest time, but they really have raised me to be the woman, adult, wife, and friend that I am. I am so grateful to be their daughter.
On a different note, Happy Birthday to my soon-to-be-sister, Christina
and to our 5 yearold husky-bear, Lylee!