My parents often annoy me. My Dad and I often seem to end up arguing when we’re both saying the same thing – we disagree about the fact that we’re agreeing! And I just get irritated with my Mum a lot of the time. I have often thought about their flaws as parents, and told my best friend how jealous I am of her mum whom I have known all my life and is lovely.
Having said that though, we never really have huge arguments. We get on well enough, do stuff together, we’re always polite to each other at the very least. In my memory my parents have never really argued with each other, they’ve never had particularly strict rules, and neither my sisters nor I have ever rebelled or disobeyed them in a significant way. Whether their treatment of us has led to us being well behaved, or they’ve been able to be liberal with us because we just are sensible, well that’s probably bordering on a huge psychological debate, so I’ll just stick with saying that in general, they’re pretty good parents.
I’ve always thought this, to varying degrees about each of them at different times, but I’ve heard a couple of things recently which have made me really appreciate everything they’ve done.
Firstly I was talking to one of my friends about his family. He lives with his mum and hasn’t seen his dad for a long time. He knows he has a younger half sister but doesn’t see her, and he’s had at least one step-mum, but he thinks he may now have other siblings by another wife of his dad’s. When talking to him about this I couldn’t help feeling sorry for him, and being grateful that my family are still together. Families break up for all sorts of reasons, so I would never judge anyone for it, but after this I had to just thank my parents for staying together, and I hope for the sake of my kids that when I get married it is for life.
But something else happened this morning. When I got to college I joined a small group of my friends, one of whom was quite upset at something which had happened with her mum. Another friend was telling a story about when she was in primary school and hadn’t done as well in something as her mother wanted, and her mother then told her that she would always love her because she had to, but that didn’t mean she liked who she was. The first friend then told me what her mum had said, which was about equally mean. By the end of this is was in tears; all I could do was give them both a hug. I’ve known for a while that these two women could be…difficult at times. But the girls, my friends, are well behaved, kind, amazing people, and I don’t see how anyone could be so horrible to their own child.
So, although I probably won’t ever say this to my parents, I am so glad that they’ve always been kind and supportive. My Dad an amazing man who I’m pretty sure can do anything, and I’m always proud of the ways in which i am similar to him (well, maybe not the terrible puns), and my Mum has always been there to take me on nice trips and sort out my life when everything seems to be going wrong. And I am constantly glad about how close I am to my sisters. So if any of them ever read this, thank you. And I hope that anyone else who reads this has a family as great as mine.
Edit: I wrote this the other day just straight off the top of my head; I wrote what I was thinking without really thinking it through, and I’m worried I might have given the wrong impression. I wasn’t saying that a traditional nuclear family is the only way to raise kids, or that that friend of mine, or anyone else living with divorced or single parents is having a terrible time because of it. I like living with both my parents together because our family works well and I wouldn’t want to lose touch with either of my parents, and I merely used that example to show when I realised how grateful I am for my parents 🙂