Monday, September 4, 2017

You'll Thank Me Someday

I'm not shy about saying I have the best parents on the planet. I've been saying it for years. When my friends would complain about their parents, I'd just kind of sit there, smile and nod, and be unable to help them commiserate. Truthfully, sometimes I'd internally side with their parents (shh!).


It's a common phrase that parents say, "You'll thank me someday." Teenagers loathe hearing it, because what could parents know about being a teenager in today's world?

Well, as my mom likes to point out, there's nothing new under the sun.

On the outside, my parents were strict. They demanded my sister and I always try our best in whatever we did. We weren't allowed to quit baseball until we finished the season (and I have two good memories of that season, but that's for another post). We had to get jobs for mad money when we turned 14-15, which was the legal age that teenagers could work certain jobs in our town. We had chores. But we didn't have a set curfew, which puzzled our friends to no end.


My parents also monitored our TV and computer habits. If there was something they didn't think was appropriate, we didn't watch it. I didn't see Dirty Dancing until I was 13, despite my friends having watched it almost from infancy. When The Brady Bunch Movie came out in 1995 (1996?) my classmates returned from the weekend quoting it, while I stayed oblivious.

It almost sounds like I grew up in a convent, doesn't it? Well, not true.

Because of their movie monitoring, I'm a huge fan of old movies. My first horror movie was The Birds when I was about six. I couldn't go near my sister's parakeet for a week. I'm a film buff that can tell what year a movie was made by looking at the cinematography. I've seen almost every Judy Garland movie ever made.


Because of their insistence on my having a job when I was a teenager, I've been steadily employed for over half of my life. There has only been one instance where I've been unemployed, and that was when I moved back to Council Bluffs and was looking for a job. I was out of work for a little less than six weeks. And I got hired at that job because of my long work history (Ironically, I only stayed at that job for ten months).

Because my parents spent a lot of time sharing their interests with me, I appreciate all forms of art, including the lesser appreciated ones, from sewing and quilting (My mom is an amazing quilter) to theatre organ music (My dad's been a member of the River City Theatre Organ Society almost my entire life, and I frequently attend concerts with him).


It's looking like I won't be having kids of my own (I'm actually kind of okay with that), but if I were to be a mother, the loves my parents taught me will be passed on to them.

When my parents were relatively new parents, they had friends who would cancel plans and grudgingly say they couldn't do anything because they had the kids that weekend. My parents couldn't relate. They liked spending time with us, and they do to this day. We still vacation together (Our cruise is in December!).

When you're a kid, you might not think you have a lot of freedom. I had more than I realized, but my parents wanted me to ask permission almost as a courtesy, so they'd know where I was. When I wanted to go somewhere, they'd rarely say no.


When I had a supervisor call me stupid in front of a customer, they were the ones to have my back and help me, not get revenge, but make sure that the supervisor knew that wasn't okay (it turns out he'd called other girl cashiers stupid, and I guess mine was the straw that broke the camel's back. Management couldn't let it slide anymore, and he was demoted).

I want to be like them if I ever have children, and I know how lucky I am. I'm thankful for them. My sister and I won the parent lotto, and we let them know every chance we get.

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad! I love you more than you'll know! Here's to 35 more years!


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