I remember the years as a little kid when I absolutely adored my parents. I wanted them to come on all of my field trips, to be around my friends and to talk to them all the time. They were my heroes, and I looked up to them so much.
As I moved into middle school and high school, there was a piece of me that was changing and I wanted to be more independent. I didn’t want them to chaperone dances or go to a bunch of events anymore; I wanted to show I could do it on my own.
Over time, we would argue over and over again because they just didn’t understand me. They wouldn’t allow me to wear certain clothing items or to let me participate in the activities all my friends were able to do, and these conversations always led to me screaming, “I hate you,” or others words I wish I never said.
As I got older and headed to college, I was ready to be even more independent from my parents. I remember during my sophomore year, I headed off to alternative spring break and I met so many homeless people who just wanted to provide for their children or had lost their jobs or homes.
It wasn’t until then that I started to appreciate what my parents did for me. Not only did they provide a roof over my head and food every night, they helped me succeed to meet my dreams.
Looking back, because of the way that I was raised, I definitely took for granted everything my parents did for me. We've all been there; we always think we have the worst parents in the world, but do we really? Just because they wouldn't let you go that party, date that asshole or wanted you to be the best you could be?
I could give you a list of the things my parents wouldn't let me do. I never understood why they were so strict, but if I am being honest, that list of things they wouldn’t let me do saved me from a lot of jail time, regrets and trash in my life I didn't need.
Once I remember my dad telling me that the guy I was "in love" with just wasn't for me. I remember screaming at him that he was wrong only to have my heart broken a year later and realize how much that was not the relationship for me. That is just one example of many times I should have valued my parents’ opinion.
So, take a step back and look at what your parents have done for you. I know I made my own choices, but a lot of credit goes to my parents for helping me through struggles and for teaching me that no matter what choices I make, they will always love me.
That’s a love that will never change. Sometimes I think about what type of parent I will be when I have kids. I always say I won’t let them get away with half the stuff I did, but then again I realize as much as I thought my parents were strict, I did get to enjoy my childhood and I am growing up to be the person I wanted to be. Parents help teach us the type of parents we want to be one day.
I took my parents for granted for a very long time and still to this day. Just remember your parents can be taken from you at any time, so let them know how much you appreciate and love them. They need the love just as much as we do.
Photo Courtesy: Hello Pine Cone