“Value the people who sacrifice something for you, because maybe that something was their everything.”
I think sometimes parents feel as though their children don’t understand how much they do as parents. Mostly because we don’t see them as much more than our parents. What?! They were kids once?! They have lives that don’t revolve around me?! How absurd?!
This is how we think, and so we don’t realize what they give up for us. Sometimes we never do.
My parents moved to the U.S. from India, in part for work and find opportunities of their own, but also to give their new family a life that was perhaps more successful. I never really thought of this more than the fact that they had done it for me and for my siblings. Recently however, it occurred to me in a more profound way that they had left the entire universe as they had known it in order to give us a better chance. Of course, I have always known that they had abandoned their families to come to the U.S. and that the only connections they had back to India was through our web of technological connections (Skype, texting, Facebook, etc.), but I suppose the true gravity of their sacrifice was never quite so apparent. How could it be when I was simply used to the fact that just about everything they did was for us. They were always just parents, not other people.
Even on anniversaries, my mom never wants to go out on a date with my dad because she would rather celebrate the marker of her new life with him by going out with all of us. I still think some romantic time could never hurt, but it’s kind of amazing to see what they do for us. As I’ve grown older, they’ve become more than parents to me. Admittedly, they’ve become more friendly. Now that’s not to say that they don’t yell at me or get super protective or tiny things or annoy the life out of me –these things never go away– rather, now I can talk about things I never could before with them. They had trials and triumphs of their own, rough patches and even insecurities. I have realized that they still have hopes and dreams of their own, and we, as their kids, just happen to be a huge part of those hopes and dreams. My parents are pretty cool to have sacrificed so much for us.
We never see parents as people of their own, but attached to us. In some sense, they do in fact live for us, but there is also plenty more to our parents than we might ever imagine.
Goal: Learning something new about your parents. (It’s even more fun if you learn something embarrassing about them from their childhood!)