We have them and we may be them. The word "Parent" means different things to different people. I have always been quite lucky when it comes to parents. Mine have been there for me always. In different ways but they have always had my back nonetheless.
When I was a boy my Mother was my life. She was my breath and she was my strength. My world revolved around her. She was the one who tucked me in, woke me up, bathed me, fed me, cuddled with me and calmed my fears. She was the rock of my family.
If my mother was our rock, my Father was her foundation. His strength was evident in his control. He need only speak and we listened. It was his attention that we sought after, and it was his love that we craved. His love was no less than my Mothers but his love was in his eyes, not in his words.
As we matured and grew into adults we had no choice but to watch our parents also mature and grow into themselves. They were suddenly and quite abruptly without children at home. They retired and had to learn how to live their lives all over again. Their health was getting weaker as their grandchildren came into the world.
Parents. Well as parents turn into grandparents their children's focus also changes. Our lives become less about them and more about ourselves and our own children. We forget sometimes that they do indeed know more than us and we often roll our eyes to their ideas and opinions on raising children.
They step back and let us raise our kids, as their parents did with them. No doubt they are lonely at times and look back to the days when their own house was full of the patter of little feet. Maybe thats why they let our kids be happy and let them run free.
I watch my Father hold my daughter and tell her repeatedly how much he loves her. He didn't do that with me. I watch him sit and laugh and play games. I watch him love. It used to bother me but now it makes me smile. I love seeing my Dad be a Poppy. I think he is shining like he wished he always had with us.
My mother is as patient and loving as she ever was but now she actually stops and enjoys it. You can see her taking pictures in her mind. They do not get to see all of their grandkids very often and when they do they beem for weeks. They soak up as much of the youth from their souls as they can and they leave them with only the love a grandparent can give.
Whats funny about parents is that by the time you often realize how much you love and need them the most it is often too late. I'm pretty lucky. I have 2 healthy parents who live minutes away from me and a daughter who will grow into a parent herself one day and understand the love of a Mother and Father as well as that of her Nanny and Poppy. She will be quite the parent herself someday.
I often joke and tease my parents. We laugh at my moms forgetfulness and my Father being hard of hearing and misunderstanding most of what we say. We joke about it and make light of it because the reality is, that they are getting older and it is hard for us to accept that. The cycle of life will prove that time is slipping by and as kids we will try and hold on to them for as long as we can. Unfortunately, the thing about parents is that inevitably one day they will be gone. We will be left wishing we had told them how we felt or how what they meant to us. One day our children will be writing blogs about how we have changed their lives and how we want to control their kids. It is just a cycle.
I love my Mom and Dad like I love my daughter. It's endless. I tell my daughter everyday how much I love her and I haven't told my parents in ages how I feel. Maybe I am taking for granted how much time we have left. Maybe I am in denial.
The funny thing about parents is that when we become parents ourselves we often forget about the parents that got us to where we are today. I don't know if my parents will read this blog, but if they do I hope they laugh when its funny and cry when its sad. I hope they understand why I am writing it in the first place. I also hope they know that these stories and rants are simply my way of putting their love and courage into history. My last hope for them is that they figure out how to open this page and don't phone me asking any more questions about the laptops or the internet! I love you Mom and Dad! xoxo