I'll Never Be Like My Parents ...Ha!


The time has come.  Last night after Ally asked me for a snack, I deferred and said "Go ask your Dad".  I remember when I was a kid and I wanted something I'd ask my Mom first. If I didn't like that answer, I'd ask my Dad.  And depending on who I was in good graces with, I might flip flop my approach.  Kids are interesting creatures.  Stunning.

One of best parts to parenting is I get to do all those things I said I'd never do when I was kid. I'm now going back on most of that.  You know precisely what I'm talking about, don't you?  How many times over the years have you learned lessons and thought "Hmm, my parents aren't as bad as I thought they were."

Yep it's time to suck it up and admit my parents were right about, well, ahem, some things.  Oh I remember my teenage self bemoaning "I'll never be like my parents"...."   Famous last words.

The truth is I am a piece of both my mom and dad.

My mom has a kind heart.  She likes to be around people and she gives tirelessly of herself to others.  She's a sweet person who instilled in me the importance of service. She has insane amounts of energy and when she was younger could work long long hours.  She never ran marathons, but chased 3 kids for countless hours and build a great medical career and worked a full time job.  She values hard work.

My dad is loyal and will fight for what's right.  He is comfortable leading amidst ambiguity and is a rock. He seems like a rigid person, and can be, but he's funny witty and actually someone I could hang around for hours and talk shop with.  Like my mom, I have a lot of respect for his dedication and hard work.   He's firm, yet fair.  (Oh my God, did I just say my father is fair?).  I suppose it's good he doesn't read my blog often? :)

There are so many life experiences I learned and have come to appreciate though my parents, however a recent one stands out.

After a series of weird events including a drowning tragedy in the neighborhood with a child Ally's age,  I found myself distraught.  I didn't know what to do.  My heart was aching - the new kind of 'ache' you get to experience once you become a parent.   So I called them both at 5AM.  I must have spent 30 minutes firing off every question I could about parenting.  Did you worry about me?  How did you protect me?  When did you stop worrying?  I asked about a lot of things.  My mind raced!  My heart pumped. I've spent part of my life saying I'd never be like either of them, and there I was seeking out every piece of advice I could get.  I cried.  It was a moment I will remember as long as I'm alive.
When we are born, we have nothing.  When we die, we have nothing.  Our parents raise us through this amazing part in between, called life.  We never understand parents until we become parents.
And like my own Mom and Dad, I hope one day to hear Ally say those famous last words: "I'll never be like my parents" and have the joy of seeing that come around.
Mom and Dad, I love being like you.    

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