my parent's love

1.19.2012 |

anyone who cares to read:

looking around to see the youth of today, i consider myself among the blessed and fortunate. with negativity and animosity at every corner and lurking between every line, i was raised on a diet of tough love and persistent discipline. above all else, my parents actively shoved love down my throat and i witnessed care continuously bleed out my parents' eyes. my mom would kiss me good bye in front of ALL my friends (ugh MOMMM!) and my dad would spend hours playing catch in the backyard or teaching me how to ride my bike.  my mom would sing "amazing Grace" each night before bed and my dad would "burrito tuck" me in every night so monsters and aleins couldn't get me while in bed (you think i'm crazy for saying this, but i distinctly remember seeing an alien in my closet as a child....or it could have been a jacket that was hanging up and the light hit it in an odd fashion, but regardless, i'm prrrrrretty sure it was an alien from outer space ready to abduct me). 

my parents didn't just tell me they loved me as if it was some empty, meaningless word; no, instead, they acted out the love and compassion with every step and with every word. i think every child should be subjected to and wrapped in this blanket of comfort.  they fulfilled what the word "love" truly stands for: an action and not a word.
"my children, listen when you father corrects you. pay attention and learn good judgement, for i am giving you good guidance. don't turn away from my instructions." -proverbs 4:1-2
growing-up under my parents reign was not necessarily the easiest of tasks, but even if i wanted a new set of parents, it's not like i had the slightest choice in that matter.  i threw a fit in the middle of the grocery store, so my mom popped me in the mouth (ugh, that huge wedding ring stings across the mouth).  i back talked to my mother so i had to wait until dad got home (and we all know what that means), i hit my sister and lied about it so my bare-butt got spanked and then my teary eyed self cried out for forgiveness while i was forced to sit alone in time out for what i recall was for-ev-er. i got grounded for an entire summer (the first summer i had my license, helllllo big deal parents!) for i can not even remember what, but obviously i was in the wrong. i learned the in's and out's of how to get away with certain things, and just when i thought i had gotten away on sheer stealth, my mom somehow knew.  she had all kinds of ninjas following me, i'm convinced, and i am still convinced these same ninjas exist in mississippi.
however, growing up, they were my only umbrella of guidance and my single shield of protection and initially my first force of friendship. however, being the temperamental and self-centered rugrat that i was, i often told my parents that they were the worst parents ever (because my friends' parents didn't treat them THAT way), that i was going to call the police on them (they scoffed at this and handed me the phone, calling my bluff), that if they really loved me they would not put me in time out (or spank me, or ground me, or or or or), that i was going to run away (which meant walk down the street, get scared, then return home and apologize for ever thinking i could make it on my own), that i hated them (because i used words to try and sway them), and that i didn't love them (even though i did not comprehend their depiction of love).

i could be (and was!) a terror behind closed doors and only an angel when it really mattered.

they disciplined me and knew it wouldn't kill me.  they didn't try to be my best friends, because that wasn't their job, that's not what they signed up for. they showed me tough love, and i love them even more fully and deeply because of this. i shutter to think how i could have turned out had my parents not been so energetically full of guidance, eager to display tough love, and passionately ready for fierce dedication to raising me and my sister as they were, i just do not even want to know who or where i would be. ok, they weren't like "neo-nazis-i'm not gonna let you do anything ever-don't kiss a boy-if you break your curfew you might as well forget about the rest of your life" kinda parents (you know what kind of parent's i'm alluding to and if that's their prerogative, so be it), they let me have a life and make mistakes and figure things out on my own, but they didn't let me push the line so far it was broken beyond repair...... and this is where the only way i will ever be able to adequately thank them is to raise my own children in a like manner.

it's not that my whole childhood and adolescence was a rough blur only to be remembered with tear stained cheeks and a bruised bottom.  no, quite the opposite. i was so very fortunate to have my mom and dad be my number one fan. my parents came to every softball game, every soccer match, every track meet, every field trip. my dad coached every team i was on and my mom was the team mom ready to take care of every kid. they seized every opportunity to be there for my sister and i. i understand that it's not always possible to be at every single event, so parents who don't have this luxury i understand, but i was fortunate that my parents were both entrepreneurs (with this came more hardships having to eat boxed milk for a few years of my early childhood but later their hard work multiplied). my parents took me, my sister, and our friends on countless vacations, and even to several exotic locations. looking back, i can't remember an event they missed.  i'm sure if you asked them what game they ever missed, they could tell you what team i was on and the reason they could not be there.

in all, it must have been really difficult to be the parents of me and my sister.  look at me now, i am trying to emulate their every step.  not that i have children of my own (yet) but qualities i saw to be true in my parents are now being reflected through my eyes. (who would have known? oh my poor 7-year old self is laughing now)  these qualities i am now developing, well ha ha ha, my 12-year self told my parents that she couldn't stand them, that she hated those things, that she would never EVER, EVERRR be like that.

but goodness, what did i know of love at 7 years old, what did i know about responsibility at 12 years old, what did i know about life at 18 years old.....and now? (enter loud, obnoxious, embarrassing laugh) yeah, and now??? i'm still learning from my parents.

i know that love isn't a word.  ok, yes, it is obviously a word, but that's not what i'm getting at.  love, it's not a word, but an action.

i can only hope and pray that i am even half as wonderfully mean and compassionately crazy as my parents were.


1 comment

  1. Very Sweet. My mom sung "Rise and Shine and Give God the Glory-glory" to wake me up. As for my Dad he "burrito-tucked me, too" I just didn't know that's what it was called till I read this post :) You're going to be a wonderful Parent one day, too!! You just wait! ;)


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