My Parents' Daughter

You know you’ve found a keeper when:

He wakes up more than an hour earlier than he normally does to have coffee and a morning chat with your jet-lagged brother.
He makes a simple board game side-splittingly funny for your entire family with his corny antics and doesn’t care when he loses.
Your mother confides in him and pays heed to his counsel.
You know he’s exhausted from driving the whole day but still attends to your family’s diverse needs with patience and good humour.
He finds ways to be romantic even though you barely have any moment alone for 3 weeks. :)

**************

A whirlwind 3 weeks gone in a blink, leaving me tired and pensive. I had a great time with my family… this vacation was different from all previous ones in my memory. For the first time since I can remember, everyone was present in both mind and body… involved, engaged, and interested. We discovered new things about one another we didn’t notice before. Many things were spoken. I think even more thoughts were unspoken but thought, mulled over, and kept in our hearts.

Family. *muses* I see myself in both my parents. Some things are good… but more than a few are things I’m not so delighted to have inherited *wry smile*. Yet, I also see now where I am different, and how I am connected yet discrete from them. In a way, I am learning to walk apart from them, to trust increasingly in my own voice and to become less chained to a need for their approval. I’m finding that when I can stand apart from both my mother and my father, it is actually easier to see and love them for who they are, and to be more patient with them.

One day perhaps, my own child will be having these same thoughts. I do not yet have a child of my own, but if and when I do, I know the day will come when he or she will see me as human, flawed, and be frustrated and angry with me for inevitably hurting him or her and others in my family. When those days come, I will have a very different set of new lessons to learn about humility and service and stewardship as a parent. Meanwhile, if I can meditate on the evolving lessons of daughterhood, they may yet teach me important principles about parenthood. :)

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