In my last post, I talked about why my male friends greatly outnumber my female friends and how important my friends are to me. Today, I got to see one of my very good female friends whom I haven’t seen in 2 and a half years. It was really nice to hear from my friend that she and her boyfriend are enjoying their lives in England. I am truly happy for them. Unfortunately, the relationship my friend has with her parents here are not nearly as great. As my friend went on to describe the problems her parents have with her, it reminded me of the kind of relationship I once had with my parents.
I remember this one particular night, many many years ago, when I woke up in the middle of the night and went into my parent’s room. As I stood there at their bedside, I cried very quietly as I watched them sleep. Even though I was only 9 years old at the time, I already knew very well that my parents would get old one day and I would lose them in the distant future. I started to think about how many years I could possibly have left with my parents, and I began to feel extremely afraid thinking about what I would do if my parents were gone.
It would be just me. Alone.
As I approached my teen years, I started to become a rebel. I didn’t like the way my mom would call me to ask about my whereabouts or when I would come home. I would screen her calls because the rebel in me felt like she was interrogating me. For a number of years, I didn’t like telling her about my life because it felt like she wanted to control it or to find faults in whatever I did. There were constant arguments in the house, and in my memory there were a lot of tears. It was a very dark and unhappy time in my life.
That mindset of mine started to change when a friend said something that really inspired me. After watching me screen my mom’s call, he asked me why I didn’t pick up my phone. When I shrugged it off, he told me he wished his mom would do the same with him – call to see how he was doing – but because she was busy and wasn’t around all the time, those calls didn’t come often. He explained to me how my mom just really cares about me and that I shouldn’t take that for granted. He was absolutely right, even though I didn’t want to admit it at the time.
In the eyes of every mother and father, their children will always be children, even when their children are 50 years old. Someone once said to me…if you will put effort into your work, why wouldn’t you put effort into maintaining a good relationship with your loved ones? It took a few years for me to figure out how to maintain a relatively good relationship with my parents. It’s not perfect and we occasionally have fall outs, but it’s better than it has ever been. I often think about that night when I stood crying next to my parent’s bed; it’s a constant reminder for me to appreciate the time I have with my parents now.
I’d like to believe that everyone goes through that rebellious stage. I’d also like to believe that everybody will get past that stage at some point and learn to appreciate their family’s presence before it’s too late. Your best relationship really should be the one you have with your family. Family is family. That will never EVER change. All parents love their children unconditionally. And as cheesy as it sounds, that really is the greatest love of all.