Thursday, February 27, 2014

Parental Units

When I was a little girl, I loved my parents. I wanted nothing more than to make them proud. For them to take notice of the things I did and give me a little pat on the back. Even as I got older, I wanted them to be happy with who I was. Even when I went through my darkest days and just wanted to scream at them to 'fuck right off' and 'leave me alone'. As I told the world I didn't give a shit what anyone thought of me, I wanted my parents to believe in me, to think I'd make it through and come out the other side stronger and awesomer.

To this day, I don't want them to be disappointed in me. As a fully grown adult, who still feels like a lost child sometimes, I long for parental acceptance and guidance. I want them to be proud. And I wonder if how I've turned out has done right by them, minus the piercings.  Luckily, I've never been to jail. Some people might laugh and think I am joking around, but I'm not. The fact that I haven't gotten arrested does set me apart from a couple of my siblings.

The thing about growing up is, it's hard. Bad things happen. People make mistakes. Everything feels so messed up and weird. Honestly, I wasn't sure I stood a chance at all. The truth is, life very rarely is easy. As I got older, I self doubted, self criticized, and generally felt thrust in the middle of madness, not sure what I was doing and why things were happening.

It wasn't until I moved out of my parents house that I realized they were probably just as confused and uncertain as I was. That they made mistakes alright, but so did I. They had hopes and dreams, just like me, and I bet they even wanted me to be proud of them. It wasn't easy for them. They had it hard too. I mean, six kids? Yeah, that's a headache just to think about. I have zero kids and life is, at times, financially, mentally and emotionally exhausting.  

You don't think about those things when you are a teenager. When you're a teenager you are a selfish, inwardly focused individual and you hold things against everyone you encounter. The jerk two grades older than you who asked if you were a boy. Your idiotic computer science teacher who sent you to the principal's office before you even made it to class. The best friend who you thought was on your side, until a boy was involved. And more than everyone else, your parents. It doesn't matter what they did. If they smothered you with love, coddled you, hit you with a wooden spoon, called you names, or fell asleep during one of your plays, you hold it against them, blame them for your shortcomings. Everything messed up in your life ends up being a direct result of the coddling, neglect, anger, love, fear, and unrealistic demands they placed on you. 

At least, that's what you think when you're a dumb fourteen year old. Or an even dumber sixteen year old. Heck, sometimes those feelings of resentment, hurt and bitterness leech over into your twenties. Sometimes your thirties. Sometimes you never learn how to forgive. Sometimes you never step back and see your parents as human beings just trying to make it through another day. Sometimes you don't come to terms with your own dickheadedness. And sometimes you don't figure out that, like yourself, parents grow up and change. They learn. They hurt. They fake it until they make it. They don't have all the answers. And they have a lot of questions. 

Luckily, I learned my parents were people a long, long time ago. I see them as these awesome, confounding, brilliant individuals. They make me laugh. They make me feel loved. They make me happy. I am proud of them. Proud they are these crazy, wonderful, gentle, kind, amazing people who each  gave me parts of themselves. Without them, I wouldn't be this crazy, wonderful, gentle, kind, amazing girl - the one I am still figuring out. 

Simply put, I am grateful I got over my shit. That I grew up and realized life is too short to hold grudges, especially against the people who gave me so much. And I am not talking about food, a roof over my head and clothes. I am talking about my laugh, my nose that I think is a bit too big, these ample hips and busty bust, the curls in my hair and love of creatures of all sizes. I am grateful for the life they gave me, even if it hasn't been easy. Because it's been life.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful ♥