At the end of the day, Clark Kent has to deal with his crappy cubicle job and Bruce Wayne obsesses over stock prices. Growing up, I’ve always looked to my parents as real life super heros. They accomplished what I thought wasn’t possible and I aspired to be like them.
My parent are like my close friends. Mom likes decorating the house, keeping up with trends and fashion. Dad isn’t as concerned about the exterior, but he’s definitely down for a good comedy or action movie. Mom doesn’t really explain herself that well, but once you hear it her actions make sense. Dad takes everything so seriously I’m always caught off guard when he ninjas a joke into the conversation. The two are alike in the sense that they don’t think much about what they say before they say it. Sometimes hilarious, other times moments of “ouch, my feelings.”
Dad and I have always been chill. He spoils me more out of the pair. He’s the one that bought me toys when I was a kid and the one that let me stay out later with friends.
Mom and I weren’t always close. The old after school routine used to be her asking me how my day was, I’d say “fine” and that was the end of that. I started to really put in effort into the relationship between my parents and I after my mom told me she didn’t think I was funny. I told her all my friends thought I was hilarious and she didn’t believe me. After that, everyday I would try to make her laugh once. It’s proven to have worked really well.
People always tell me they wish they had that type of relationship– a friendship instead of a strict parent-child thing. The grass is always greener on the other side. On one hand, it’s great– I can talk to my parents about almost anything. Boys, drugs, both at the same time– you name it. I can gossip with them, discuss fashion styles and share my troubles and know that they will only try to think what’s best for me. I can get a straight dose of reality.
On the other hand, you have to deal with the hangovers. When you decide to pursue this kind of close relationship, you’re signing up for the truth: your parents are just like any other person, full of flaws, regrets and uncertainty. They’re people with die-hard habits and characteristics. They’re bound to repeat the same mistakes, bound to say the wrong thing at times. They aren’t the super heros or perfect role models you thought they were as a kid. The truth can be nauseating and painful.
So my first instinct is to RUN and hide under a rock for a few million years. Come out when everyone has evolved into beings without problems, assuming I find a very comfortable rock. But I think about the troubles I’ve faced and how easy it must be compared to what they’ve faced in order to raise me. How frustrating it must be if your child refused to acknowledge you or kept rejected your sincere attempts at connecting. I think about how much harsher it must hurt when they fall, how worn-out from the world they must feel now and I begin to feel too self-centered. Who would I be today if not for my parents?
As bad as this may sound, their distress gives me courage. They’ve confided in me, relied on me and trust me; I feel the sense of loyalty and responsibility I would have to a good friend on top of the parental love engraved into a kid’s heart. Despite half of me wanting to runaway and pretend everything’s okay, if either or both of them needed me, I’d be there in a heartbeat. Ignorance can be bliss, but what can you gain from ignorance? If you know too much, at least you have the option of picking out lessons to keep– you aren’t blindly finding your way through a maze.
Relationships are only worth the amount of effort both parties put in. Before they had you, your parents had intricate lives of their own. I chose to learn from their stories. What will you pick?