When You Realize Your Parents Are People Too

When You Realize Your Parents Are People Too

From 'Mom and Dad' To Friends

Do you remember angrily slamming the car door or telling your parents to shut up because they were annoying you? How about rolling your eyes as they asked you to set the table or clean your room? These moments don't seem that far away, but in a way they do.

In eighth grade, I was full of angst and just couldn't be bothered by anything. In high school, I started opening up to my mom more, although I'd be pissed at her and nearly impossible to deal with for basically no (valid) reason. She either asked too many questions or asked me to do something that I didn't feel like doing, but she was just being my mom. Then there was my dad who made me cry, fleeing to my room in embarrassment when he raised his voice. It almost makes me laugh looking back on some of it and remembering how ridiculous I was. We were on completely different levels and couldn't connect. I was tired of being nagged, and they were probably tired of dealing with a pissy, emotional teenage girl.

As time went on, and I entered my first year of college, I began to see my parents not just as "Mom and Dad" whose sole purpose was to care for me and my brothers, but people with pasts, dreams, hobbies and futures. They were more than people who were there for us or put food on the table. They were more like me than I thought, just older. At this point, a small friendship began, and I wanted to know more about them, like people I'd just met. I never gave much thought to their life before me.

This growth was progressive. Just last year I'd get sick of being home for winter or summer break after a week, threatening to go back to school or vaguely "go somewhere else." When I was adjusting to being back home, I was adjusting to seeing my family every day which sometimes drove me crazy.

When I was younger, I never quite appreciated my parents. I thought I did, but saying thank you doesn't seem like enough now. When they allowed me to go to Stonehill, despite it being one of the most expensive schools I applied to, I became more grateful for them than I had ever been before. They even let me live there, despite it being less than 20 minutes away, because it made me happy.

I saw my dad work day in and day out doing maintenance at the hospital and taking plastering jobs on the side to pay for my education. I saw him wake up at 5 a.m. to go to my aunt's house to take care of my grandmother who has Alzheimer's. I watched my mom work part-time at a hair salon and work full-time taking care of my younger brother and keeping the house together.

It was never our style to be close and emotional. My parents didn't always say "I love you" or hug me, and they didn't have to because they showed me love every day through their perseverance and persistence. As they say, actions speak louder than words.

This summer, we went to The Cape for a week's stay at a cottage in Dennis for the first time in 11 years. Mini-golf, the beach, tossing footballs, frisbees, lots of ice cream and even going to the bar with my older brother and my best friend. My brother and I hardly talk much, never mind go out together. Everyone stayed the whole week and had fun, and I wasn't quite ready to leave.

When you realize your parents are people, you respect them more. You treat them like the people that they are instead of ungratefully expecting things from them or relying on them for everything. You're more thoughtful and think of them as friends. You wash the dishes when Mom is at work or water the garden for Dad because you know they'll appreciate it, and it'll lighten their load. I love my dad for doing all that he does and still leaving time to hangout and garden with me, or watch "Criminal Minds." It's not a lot, but these are things that I'll remember when I'm older. I love my mom for her unwavering strength, determination and compassion. When you realize your parents are people, you gain an unbreakable support system that will last a life time.

Cover Image Credit: My first grade teacher, Mrs. Dankese

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.


So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?



Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Why You Should Bring Your Close Friend As Your Formal Date

Before asking that cute girl to formal think about asking a friend


Every year since I was a junior in high school I have always looked forward to homecoming or prom. When I got to college I began to look forward to my fraternity formal. I was never concerned with what to wear or the expense of formal but rather who I was going to ask. It can be difficult to make a decision. If you ask anyone friends with me they will tell you how I am one of the most indecisive people out there. There are so many people I am friendly with or have a close relationship that it can feel difficult to make a decision. But let's look at that phrase again. You might think why does he want to bring someone who is his friend to his fraternity formal rather than someone he likes or is dating. To answer this question, some of the girls I have liked I have not been able to be the true me around and that also applies to the girls I have dated as well. I am different around my friends and I want someone to know the real me rather than me just having to pretend.

Maybe I am still experiencing the effects of a fun weekend but I have noticed that every formal or prom that I have brought a date with not only was a fun formal but interacted and connected well with my friends. That is the main thing I look for in a formal date, they need to be liked by my friends and many of them are still pretty friendly after the formal. You are spending the weekend with them and the drive down for you formal. There will be a lot of time spent with your date so it is important to bring someone you know you will have fun with. I am not saying that there isn't anything wrong with bringing someone else but I always found it best to bring a friend if you are not dating someone.

Think about the people you know you will always have fun with. This can be an indication of who you should bring and why but you should also think about the positives in this situation. Your fun and the time spent with the people should be prioritized before anything else. This event is about you and you should have someone with you that you know is fun to be around and someone you can enjoy yourself around along with your friends. Friends know you as well as you know yourself so there is not an idea of having to pretend to be someone else. The good thing about friends is that you do not run out of things to talk about and there is always something new to learn. Take your formal as a trip that you get to experience with the people closest to you. That is my take.

The key for me is to know that I will have fun with my date at formal. The drive to formal can be long and you are sharing a hotel room with your date along with spending time with them during the trip. I talk a lot. I want someone I know who I can carry a conversation with and will not just respond with words such as Yeah or Sounds good. I have always been able to remember not only my formals but specific parts of it as well. I think this is possible because of who I have brought and the memories I made with them.

Formals are important to everyone so think about who you want to spend that moment with. There is nothing wrong with bringing someone who you like but there also is nothing wrong with bringing a friend. Some people might bring someone they are dating but you should not have to compare yourself to other people. Do what makes you happy but remember this weekend is about you and you deserve to bring someone you will have fun with.

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