I have parents. I know, this is a surprise, right? What will surprise some, though not many, since most people reading this know me, is that they aren’t just my parents, they’re my friends, my best friends. Do the drive me nuts? OF COURSE! Do I return the favor? You’d better believe it, but they’re my best friends and, I hate to say it, but there’s nothing anyone else can say or do to change that.
It’s not the traditional, “oh yeah, I love my mom and dad, they’re great, they’re wonderful, they love me unconditionally and pay for things so I can go to school,” sort of thing (though they do do that!) It’s different. It’s not just that they do that, it’s that I enjoy in fact I love spending time with them. Mom and I probably spend too much time together, which is why we drive one another up the wall every other Wednesday (no, we do not have a scheduled day). My mom, as some of you know, made a decision when I was born. She decided that, in order to spend time with me, to raise me herself, she was going to sacrifice a professional career. Growing up, I didn’t understand what that meant, I do now.
My mom likes to say, when asked about it, that she chose to do that so that when the therapist told me I should blame my mother I would know exactly who I was blaming. It’s such a joke! I won’t ever blame my mother, except maybe for occasionally driving me slightly loopy, but only occasionally. She has been there for me through literally everything. I really don’t know many other mothers that would drop everything to go on every single grad school audition with their daughter. I don’t know many other mothers who would drop everything to take their daughter to school once she was in graduate school. There’s more, though. My mom used to spend every day of the summer (before I was in camp) coming up with crafts, coming up with movies, coming up with outdoor activities to do, all by herself. Her and me, no one else. As I got older, I pulled toward my friends. Though she disapproved of some of them, she never said anything until I understood why she didn’t like them for myself. Sometimes I wish she had, but, let’s face it, I probably wouldn’t have listened.
My mom and I have a close relationship, we always have. I’ve had some people stick their noses into it and tell me that I need to cut the cord. I wish they’d remove their rather intrusive appendages and let me make that decision for myself. I get frustrated when people tell me things like this. It’s not like I’m forced to spend time with my parents, my mom, my dad, I choose to, and yes, sometimes, when I’m home, I choose to spend time with them over people my own age, sometimes. Mom and I have always been around each other constantly. When you’re younger that makes for a close (sometimes insane) mother/daughter relationship. As you get older, it makes for an unbreakable friendship. Yes, sometimes you slip back into the Mom/daughter mode, but usually, it means you can go out to lunch/dinner/movies/shopping and discuss…anything, everything?
It means you can giggle over movies, talk about fashion, literature, television shows. In our case, movie and television show discussions tend to hinge on dissecting the writing…we’re a little quirky. Still, we’re best friends, and as crazy as we drive each other, we love each other and somehow…we never seem to run out of things to discuss. That and she’s the one person I seem to be able to drag out on 8 mile walks! 😉
My dad is different. He and I have always had a different relationship than Mom and me. Dad is sillier, goofier. He likes to be that way no matter where we are, but sometimes, that’s okay. He was the one who first volunteered to drive me to school this semester when my housing fell through. It was chaotic for everyone, but I’m so grateful. If I had had to drive myself to school and home every day I probably would have flunked out.
People would look at me funny when I would tell them that my parents were driving me to school because I was in a bind, but I was willing to defend them until I was blue in the face. Not just because I was thankful they were driving me and I was desperate, but because I love them, both, and I truly believe they are the best parents I could ever have. They are the best parents, in my opinion, anywhere. People still give me funny looks when I’m out goofing around with Mom or Dad (they give me funny looks when I’m by myself too). I don’t care, though, because it doesn’t matter. People who aren’t in the loop don’t know. It’s like I was saying last night about my “brother”. It doesn’t matter what anything looks like to other people, all that matters is what’s in your heart, which is what you and the other person know. I know I love my parents, that I appreciate them, and that I love spending time with them. I know we have a friendship which is completely unbreakable (unless I do something really stupid). That’s all that matters, period. Nothing anyone says can change that and nothing anyone says will change that.
Mom, Dad: for everything you do, for everything you’ve done, thank you, so much! Know that I always love you and that nothing will ever change that!