Growing up, most of us looked up to our parents as superheroes who could do anything.
They were our guardian angels sent to protect and watch over us. They had super strength and seemed to know all there was to know about anything and everything. They had eyes in the back of their head and could do things we could only imagine accomplishing. However, not only were they superheroes, but they were our heroes as well because they cared for us. We relied on them for everything but namely our needs for food, water, and shelter. They tended toward those needs, but also our wants, whether it be a toy for our birthday or just someone to play with. We expected our parents to be perfect in every way and couldn't imagine them failing or coming up short.
As we got older we would mess up sometimes and our parents would punish us for it, to which they said they did it out of love and to shape the person we grew up to be. We started to pick at things and judge the ways we were parented, vowing we wouldn't repeat it with our children when we grew up. We thought we knew best at times and started to respect our parents less for it. As we went through our teen years we became more rebellious, arguing with our parents and trying to distance ourselves by pushing them away. Why not? They were only holding us back and wouldn't let us have our way. We looked down on them for not conforming to the new times and being stuck in the past. High school didn't help our cause, and when we got home from school we would be tired and stressed. Wanting to spend more time alone, we pushed away from the ones we once clung to.
Aging to adulthood, our eyes are open as we realize that our parents were just like us in more ways than we could imagine. They had the same troubles and struggles that we went through and were doing their best to help us when we went through them. Our parents become more human as we relate more to them. We see them as our heroes again as we rebuild our trust and respect in them. We see them not as superheroes nor as a tyrannical ruler trying to control our lives, but as older, more wiser friends. We can empathize that it's hard to love sometimes, and we realize that they truly wanted what was best for us even if we couldn't see the purpose in their disciplinary actions. We realize how much our parents went through because of their compassionate love for us. They worked tirelessly and endlessly with us as their motivation. Our parents paid the bills, fed us, sheltered and supported us, but most importantly they cared for us and did whatever they could to make sure they gave us the best life they could.
Our parents messed up sometimes, but now that we're older we realize that's OK because we mess up as well. Neither the parents nor the kids are perfect, we are both going to mess up, but it's important that we learn from our mistakes and continue to love the other as that's what family is for. We might have made vows that we would never turn out like them, that we would treat our children differently. In spite of that, we now know how hard our parents had it and we just got to give them credit for their commitment to raising us despite hardship.
In our teen years, we saw our parents as emotionless and controlling robots, but looking back we see how full of emotion they actually were. They loved and cared for us so much, but we only pushed them away. Rejection from the very ones you dedicated your life to love and care for must be heart-breaking. Now that we're older we take the time to understand our parents more, we feel their hurt but also their joy. We realize just how much they cared for us, and that everything they did was in good intentions out of love rather than the latter. To all the parents out there, including my own…sorry for the ways we pushed you away at times, but thank you for never giving up on us and continuing to love us despite our rebellion and failures.
22 Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old. - Proverbs 23:22
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