As a child I never fully appreciated my parents. How could I ? I never truly understood the sacrifices they went through to have me. Everything was taken for granted. Don’t get me wrong I had respect for my parents but respect and appreciation are two different things in my view.
When I look back now at some of the things I pulled, I cringe. The days I faked a headache so that I could go home from school resulting in my mum or dad having to leave work to collect me. The times I would say ‘ Whats for dinner mum” as soon as she walked through the door after a long day at work. The automatic assumption that I would have clean clothes in the wardrobe . I really had no idea.
When mum would fall asleep on the couch my brother and I would roll our eyes. Whats wrong with you? You always fall asleep. Little did I know that I would be doing the exact same thing years down the line. It never crossed my mind how hard it can be to be a parent. How much they really sacrificed for me and my brother. Not until I become a mother myself.
I remember when Gabriel was born. The pure joy and unconditional love that took over me. The motherly drive to provide and nurture this child to the detriment of myself. Nothing else would ever be more important than him. I was willing to do anything to protect this child and give him the best in life. As I felt these emotions it dawned on me. This is how my parents feel about me.
This realisation is like having a lightbulb moment and very awkward moment at the same time. Everything that happened in your childhood seems to make sense. The reason why you were never allowed to go out late at night to join some of the other kids. The reasons why they were so strict. It is awkward to think that during all of these years I never got it.
I remember getting so angry with my mum because i didn’t understand why she was always worried. I would go out with friends she was worried. I would speak about boys she was worried. I would walk down the street to the shops, she would worry. It used to drive me crazy. I didn’t understand why someone would worry so much over seemingly mundane things. It was not like we lived in a war zone. But then I became her. I became the worried mother and I cannot help but laugh.
Now it is my turn. The child has grown and has now taken the place as the parent. Now I will be the one to watch as I try to shape my son into a respectable person only to have him resent me for it. I will be the strict uncool parent that will be viewed as the fun sponge. I will be the one running around in circles to make sure they have everything they need even though they won’t appreciate it yet.
Even though I know I have many years to go before Gabriel will one day appreciate what we do for him. I stand here ready to take on the challenge. My heart is filled with gratitude towards my parents.
Sorry I was such a little shit.
I now have my own little shit to raise.
Lets hope Karma is kind.