As children, there is a very obvious fact concerning our parents that we either consciously ignore or, in most cases, are completely oblivious to. And this fact is that our parents are, like everyone else, only human.
Up until recently, I never thought about who my parents were before they became "Mom" and "Dad." As far as I was concerned, the birth of my parents coincided with my own. And in becoming parents, I thought they were immediately bestowed with all of the powers that came with that grandiose title: unparalleled bravery and wisdom, unwavering patience and confidence, unrivaled strength and leadership.
Throughout my whole life, I have unfairly and unreasonably held them to these impossible standards of perfection, and when they failed to meet them, I blamed them for their shortcomings: whenever they would raise their voice at me, I blamed them for being mean. Whenever they refused to let me go out with my friends at night, I blamed them for being unfair. Whenever they couldn't offer me the "right" advice for my petty pre-teen problems, I blamed them for being unhelpful and even useless.
What I failed to acknowledge was the fact that my parents were not always parents. They were, and still are, the children of their own parents, meaning they hold within themselves all of the traits that come with that title: fear and naivete, impatience and uncertainty, weakness and inexperience. And so, it turns out that my parents are just children who are taking care of other children. Whenever they yelled at me, it is because they were capable of losing their patience.
Whenever they refused to let me stay out too late at night, it is because they were capable of being afraid; whenever they couldn't offer me the solution to all of my problems, it is because they were capable of simply not having all the answers.
And so we must remember that just like us, our parents are doing the best they can do, and just as they accept our best effort, perhaps we should learn to theirs as well.