Growing Up Grateful
Maybe it’s because family has been on my mind this week. Or maybe it’s because my mother just celebrated a birthday a couple of days ago and my father will celebrate one in less than a month. Or maybe it’s because I’ve been reading about other people’s less than idyllic upbringings and feeling pretty flippin’ lucky by comparison. In any case, I’ve been thinking lately that I owe the people who brought me into this world a major debt of gratitude. I may occasionally disagree vociferously with their advice (they’re used to this), but that doesn’t dim my appreciation for the fact that they care enough to offer it. In no particular order, a handful of parental provisions for which I’m very grateful:
Photo by Darwin Bell
The belief that I could do and be any damn thing in the whole damn world
Maybe I’ve internalized this one a bit too much, because I still believe my own hype a little more than is ego-appropriate. In all my years on earth, however, I’ve never doubted my own merits and my (sometimes untapped) capacity for awesome. Props to the parents for teaching me that from Day 1.
A pressure-free space to find my own way
Did you know some people’s parents hector them about settling down, finding someone, getting married, having babies? If my parents ever raised these issues, it would be a sure sign that they’d both developed brain tumors. My mother has the uncanniest people-reading skills that you’ll ever come across and is on record (many times) as saying she’d much rather any of her offspring stay perpetually single than get hooked up with card-carrying douches.
The knowledge that I’ll always have a soft place to land
Sure, I’m not hankering to take up residence on the rec room couch in the near future, but I know that option is always there if I need it and that it will be given freely without shaming or recrimination. It’s nice to prove Thomas Wolfe at least a little bit wrong.
The understanding that you do it because it needs to get done
You might not want to, you might kvetch and kick up a fuss, but you will do it, because there really is no other option. Shirking responsibility doesn’t enter into the equation.
For better or worse, what have you learned from your folks?