This past year has been an exciting year of new adventures, discoveries, and changes; turns out this is what happens when you graduate and become a functioning member of society…who knew? However, the most shocking change for me wasn’t graduating college, starting my first job or “adult-ing” in general. No. It’s way bigger. Way more shocking. And one I didn’t see coming. So, what could it possibly be?
Well after 22 years, my parents and I are now “friends”.
No I didn’t have some awful childhood and recently reconnect with my parents, I’ve just entered a new stage in my life and they have entered a new role as parents. Hear me out…
I’ve spent 95.45% of my life looking at my mom and dad as parents, not “pals”. I mean it makes sense, a parent’s role is to set expectations and boundaries for their children, not to be their buddy. My parents never tried to be my friend and looking back I didn’t want them to be. What I needed was structure, direction, and discipline not a “cool” mom and dad…even if thirteen-year old me thought they were “so uncool” (spoken in dramatic, teenager, why-won’t-you-let-me-go, life-is-so-unfair, voice)
As I grew up and began making my own decisions, I realized it was the rules, the “no’s”, and the boundaries that prepared me to become the independent individual I am today and for that I am thankful.
So, what now? Do we all shake hands, say it’s been a good ride, and go on about our lives? Negatory.
As I’ve entered a new stage in my life, they’ve entered a new role as parents; friend and life consultants. This doesn’t mean they weren’t approachable or that I wasn’t able to go to them for advice until now, shoot I’ve done both daily for the past 22 years!
It’s just different now. There is no longer a parent-child divide, rules, or “no’s, just two people offering their advice/opinions, but respecting my decisions and trusting I make the best choices. These days, I see my parents as much more human than ever before – regular people who were once in my shoes. It was through this realization that a friendship was created and their role as parents shifted.
Call me crazy, but I’m thankful it took 22 years for them to become “cool” parents and my friend. Everything has a time and a place and having my parents as friends growing up was not what I needed, but having them as life-long friends going forward is absolutely what I need! They’ll always be my parents, but it’s nice to have gained a couple new friends along the way!
So thanks, pals!
Oh and…..Happy 26th Anniversary, Mom and Dad! (Here’s a perfect throwback for this Thursday….)
And a few more throwbacks…