I look back on my adolescent years with nothing but fondness. My younger days were filled with silliness and laughter, imagination and playtime, family and so, so, very much love. There was never a day that went by I did not feel cared for. You hear, quite frequently, people titling their guardian as “world’s best mom” or “#1 dad”, but how often do you hear a label rewarded for imperfection? That is precisely where I mean to rock the boat. So many speak of remembered patience, grace, and kindness. I, however, remember the ugly. Those are the moments that are engraved into my being. The times curses slipped, faces turned red, and severe punishment was inflicted. I will never, ever, look back to think of my mother as a saint or my father as some glorified soul. That picture-perfect idea of what a family is, isn’t us.. Funny thing is, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I will begin this discussion with a depiction of each of my parents’ personalities. Although, very much a team condition, respecting my childhood, my parents each have left different sentiments and affected me in separate fashions. Let us begin with my father. My dad has always been a light-going fellow, frequently found in a cheery mood and cracking jokes. I would never be able to count the times laughter has emitted from the surrounding persons my father has entertained, for an occurrence of that manner happens daily. As all know, even the most comical of people have points under the moon. My father holds my respect for his wisdom, non-tolerance for foolishness, and integrity. The times of pure bliss and amusement, I have shared with him, will always be a part of me, and my memory of my father. However, the times that proclaim, “That is my dad,” are the occasions that integrity was briefly lost and wisdom tainted. Moments of senseless outbursts or misconceptions. These moments I hold dearer to my heart than any others. That is because he never once allowed that anger to fester or irrationality go unmentioned and unresolved. My father, in moments of weakness, is sure to admit to his fault. I will forever remember feeling hardened from bitter frenzies yet that animosity melting away instantaneously, each time, due to his ability to admit to mistake and wrap me in his arms to sincerely apologize . Never perfect, but always humbled.
My mother, on the other hand, can often be found on the opposite side of the spectrum. Not outwardly a forever optimist like my father, but she holds a completely different, yet equally powerful, set of features. My mother breathes unpalpable strength, even when she has none herself. She is one of the rare creatures in this world that will hold loyal despite all hindrances. As, seemingly, exaggerated her expressions and tales of whimsical disposition appear, Sheila Gamble is the most truthful being I have ever had the pleasure to observe in this life. My mom has no limit to what she can accomplish, no care for the possible judgement of the people around her, and no time for those who refute common sense. Once moved by something, my mother can go from nothing to everything before you even choose what team you are going to play for. She will dive, head first, into the subject, sure to be fully educated on the topic being challenged. My mother views her inability to be a fuzzy and warm kind of parent as a weakness, something of shame, to struggle with expression of admiration. I do not share her stance on the matter, in the least bit, however. Unlike the guardians who can not resist the urge to plant a huge kiss on your cheek and embrace you dearly, the moments of intimacy my mom shares with others, goes beyond just a physical act of affection. Those moments include her trust in you, her love, and also her efforts in working to show you she truly does care for you. I recall many times I was brought to tears over misconstrued verbalizing of a situation and agonizing over my mother’s lack of empathy. Let me remind you, this is not a bashing of my parents, it is, much rather, a thank you for always making the choices they did. Similar to my father, my mom never would leave me in a state to that degree. Time and time again, my mother has come to me, no matter how harsh the words spoken on my part, apologized for any inappropriate actions on her part, and just talked to me until the tension has, somewhat, subsided and we are at an understanding. Never pretty, but always forgiving.
As, I hope you see now, screwing up is unavoidable, but what you choose to do with the time after that mistake or imperfect situation, that is what could leave an everlasting impression and some of the best memories a child can have of their parents. You see.. Being perfect shouldn’t be the goal of parenting tactics or really how we even look at life. It is inevitable that we will fail, we will come short, and we will hurt, oh we will hurt. How we recover, though, how we forgive, how we love, how we deal with the damage we have done, that should be the end-game, what we strive for. Trying to be a little bit better each day impacts us more than attempting to become blameless instantaneously or just, simply, wishing we hadn’t done something. Swallowing our pride to, genuinely, say “I am sorry,” goes further than never recognizing fault to begin with. Loving someone when they feel like they are deteriorating, heals greater than the perfect could even comprehend. My heart holds no resentment for the mistakes my parents have made. How could it? If all less than perfect acts between me and my parents were erased, we wouldn’t be where we are now. The love and respect that I know is shared between the members of my family, wouldn’t have even been established. Those not-so-pretty flashes in time and moments we want to deny.. They built us. So, no matter what vicious cycles repeat themselves, I will always full-heartedly believe everything in between is worth it.
How have you grown as a parent? Do you struggle with guilt for being human, just as your children are? How do you feel about my personal favorite moments with my family? I would love to hear, in detail, your opinion of this topic, as well as any questions or comments you have. Adieu!