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 High School Seniors In Their Last Semester

Senior year moves pretty fast; if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

Dammit, you made it. The final semester of your senior year. You’re at the top of the food chain of high school, and it feels so good. You’re probably praying this last semester flies by, that you get out of town as soon as possible.

At this point, you’re calling teachers by their first names, the entire staff knows you by name, and you’re walking around school standing tall, owning those hallways. You’re convinced you’re ready to leave and move on to the next chapter in your life.

You’ve already experienced your last football game, standing in the cold in the front row of the student section all season long, decked out in your school colors and cheering loud and proud. That is, until they lost, and you realized you will never have that experience again. Never again.

SEE ALSO: What I Wish I Knew As A Second-Semester High School Senior

You already had your last winter break. Preparing and celebrating the holidays with your family, ice skating and sledding with your best friends. Those quiet nights alone in your room watching Netflix, taking for granted your loved ones just a few rooms away. Never again.

If you’re an athlete, you may have already played in your last game or ran your last race. The crowd cheering, proudly wearing your school’s name across your chest, giving it your all. For some, it may be the end of your athletic career. Before you knew it, you were standing in an empty gym, staring up at the banners and thinking about the mark you left on your school, wondering where on earth the time went. Never again.

I’m telling you right now, you’re going to miss it all. Everything you’ve ever known. Those early mornings when you debate going to first hour because you really need those McDonald’s hash browns. The late nights driving home from practice, stopping for ice cream of course, ready for a late night of homework. Getting food on a whim with your friends. Endless fights with your siblings. Your favorite chips in the pantry. A fridge full of food. Coming home to and getting tackled by your dog. Driving around your hometown, passing the same sights you’ve seen every day for as long as you can remember. Hugs from your mom after a long day. Laughs with your dad. And that best friend of yours? You’re going to miss them more than anything. I’m telling you right now, nothing will ever be the same. Never again.

SEE ALSO: I'm The Girl That Enjoyed High School

Before you start packing your bags, slow down, take a deep breath, and look around. You’ve got it pretty good here. The end of your senior year can be the time of your life; it’s truly amazing. So go to the winter dance, go to Prom, spend Senior Skip Day with your classmates, go to every sporting event you can, while you still can. College is pretty great, but it’s the little things you’re gonna miss the most. Don’t take it for granted because soon, you’ll be standing in a packed gym in your cap and gown, wondering where the heck the time went. You’ve got a long, beautiful life ahead of you, full of joy but also full of challenges. You’re going to meet so many wonderful people, people who will treat you right and people who won’t.

So, take it all in. Be excited for the future and look forward to it, but be mindful of the present. You’ve got this.
Cover Image Credit: Hartford Courant

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9 Things That You Know More About You Than They Should

Privacy is a lot less private these days


Have you ever talked about a vacation you wanted to go on with your friends while out in public and the next day you saw an ad for direct flights to that dream destination? I'm not saying they're listening, but like... maybe?

Technology is getting smarter and smarter by the day. The way technology gathers information about us has become a task that goes unnoticeable in most instances. In fact, companies have gotten so good at getting our information that we've started too look passed the fact that anything/everything we do gets noted. Sometimes, if you really take the time to step back and think about it, some technology/service knows you so well, they can predict your next thought. Scary.

1. Google Home / Alexa

Alexa. Who doesn't have one nowadays?

These smart speakers, if you think about it, are always listening. They are always listening for trigger words like "hey Google" or "Alexa". They never really turn 'off.' Even when you put them on mute how are you suppose to confirm that the smart device actually turns off its ears? You can't. These speakers are always listening.

I heard somewhere that in Europe, when people apply for new jobs, they can ask for a copy of all the social media records that come up when the company searches the applicant. This one applicant asked for a copy but accidentally received someone else's. What was on the record you may ask? The other person's transcript of a conversation between himself and his wife the smart speaker picked up.

2. iRobot Roomba - Robot Vacuums

Ah yes. What type of data can a vacuum pick up? Well, it does spend it's day gliding it's way around your home. It is connected to wifi.

These devices get to know your floor plan. It spends hours calculating the way around your home. Now, what could someone do with this information?

3. Ring - Video Doorbell

"Let's install a camera in our front house so it records us every time we walk into our home." Again, I don't say this to scare you, but I would like to illustrate the fact that these tech companies potentially know more about us than we may assume. The information they gather, won't usually be used negatively but rather positively to better improve their services.

4. Siri - iPhone

Siri, just like Alexa and Google home always has her ears open waiting to hear the words "hey Siri." Siri is always listening sometimes even when she's not supposed to.

5. iPhone - Location Services

If you think about it, many apps on your phone automatically has location services turned on. Why? Because more precise ads can be target to you based on your current location. For example, your in close proximity to a neighborhood Starbucks. Pick up your phone and open up social media, a Starbucks ad may just pop up to your screen.

6. Facebook (if you haven't already heard)

Facebook. Must I go on?

7. Target

Target is one of the first companies that really jumped on the "get to know your customer" bandwagon real quick. Many years ago, based on a customer's purchase pattern, Target was able to predict her pregnancy before the customer could even tell her family. How insane is that?

8. Amazon - Aka Jeff Bezos

Amazon is rapidly becoming a leading player in convenience shopping. I mean, who hasn't used Amazon Prime? Amazon not only has you set up an account, but it records the things you purchase and from there, they are able to remember the brands you like, the items you like to buy and the prices you agree to purchase.

9. Instagram - Tagged image location

Just like Snapchat, Instagram can find exactly where you are based on the location you match to your published photo.

It's crazy to think that this is the type of world we live in today where information about us is gathered left and right and most of the time without us realizing it.

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