Many of you may know that before this blog, I had another. Less refined, but same general idea; life lessons I learn. Before I deleted that blog I was often asked by people why I was so hard on my parents. I wrote a lot about mistakes that they made as parents and I still occasionally write about those memories.
Well, there are two parts to that answer. The first part is relatively simple: Stupider time, stupider me. I was angry and self-righteous.
The second part to that answer is that every healthy relationship must be founded on truth. Ideally truth is always accompanied by love. Without love truth becomes unnecessarily cruel– kind of like me in my old blog. But with people as close to us as our parents, it’s often not humanely possible to scrounge up truth and love simultaneously. In these cases the truth can at least precede the love.
Here’s the deal: for nineteen years I thought my parents were good parents because they said they were good parents and my parents thought they were good parents because they cared a lot about my brother and I.
Then we found out that caring a lot just doesn’t cut it for kids. Kids need unconditional love. Well, we all learned this a little late for my brother and I to benefit much. Turns out my parents were actually pretty crappy parents. Very well-meaning, but nonetheless very crappy parents.
Why do I say that? Not to criticize my parents. God knows they had enough on their plates. Not to blame all of my problems on them. I’m an adult, benefitting from an unusual amount of true information and love, and any mistakes I make now are the result of my own carelessness.
I say it so that we can know it and move on. I say it so I won’t repeat the same mistakes.
Because who cares if my parents screwed it up a million and one years ago?
I have to tell you what came after that. My dad and mom moved to California nearly a year ago. Prior to that, we lived in Maryland not half an hour away from them. Almost every single weekend Oliver and I would drive over to my parents house and spend the weekend there, watching movies, playing board games, making dinner together and generally having a blast. Over the summer Oliver and my mom and I drove to yard sale after yard sale while I was pregnant, stocking up on used baby supplies. It was a riot.
Does that smell unresolved or angry to anyone? Nah, we saw the truth and we moved on. So my parents were human. No one’s moral sensibilities have been offended here. And for anyone that is oblivious to the miracle occurring here, three years ago I couldn’t stand to be in the same room as my parents for more than fifty-two seconds without wanting to dash my brains in.
And you know what’s even cooler? My parents are actually learning something now. Like I said, later in the game so it doesn’t effect my brother and I as much, but it effects how they treat each other. They’re happier than I’ve ever seen them before.
Wounds don’t heal when we ignore them and insist they don’t exist. They heal when we see and treat them. And I gotta tell you I really miss living next to my mom and dad. What I wouldn’t give to move to California now.