For My Parents

This time last year, I was nursing Ian back to health in Michigan after catching the lovely Norovirus. I would be enjoying it myself on Christmas Day. This year, we are in LA, and are going to celebrate the holiday with my husband’s family. I’ve only missed Christmas with my family a few times in my entire life, and while emotional about not being with them, I’m doing better than I expected. I’ve realized a few things that I want to share with my parents during this season of holidays.

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Dear Mom & Dad:

So, I just realized that I am officially a grown up. I discovered this on Saturday. I was still recovering from a cold and while Ian played with Gordon and his friends at the YWCA, I made granola which I then parceled into glass jars and labeled and tied with string, then delivered all over town, before picking up Ian, bringing him home and putting him to bed, by myself. This is just another day in my life as a grown up. Being grown up to me means doing a lot of things every day that I don’t necessarily “want” to do, or rather, moving beyond the “not wanting” and into another realm, the realm of being of service. As a grown up, I’m outside of myself the majority of the day, and my experience of love has grown exponentially, both of my loved ones and of life itself (this is not to say that I’m like a super happy person or anything, I just find showing up for my life is much easier than it used to be). Whether I’m sitting outside the bath playing tea¬† party with Ian for 45 minutes when I’d rather be Instagramming, or making one final food delivery after a ten-hour cook day when I’d rather be eating said food in front of the TV in my red striped pajamas. Yes, I am a grown up now.

As a grown up, I think about the both of you as parents. How, as your child, I was completely oblivious of your choosing to be grown ups in order to be great parents. How many choir concerts you endured when you’d much rather be tucked in your chair with a book? How many cooking experiments of mine you tried when you weren’t really hungry? How many thousands of loads of laundry, how many millions of tuck-ins and good nights and trips to the mall? We won’t even mention my teenage years…

I want to say thank you. You are really good people, and I love this chapter we are beginning, grown up to grown up. Now we can show up for each other because we want to, or politely decline and understand that that’s cool, too cuz you know, we’re grown ups. I’m wishing I was there with you but, as grown ups, we know that shit would be too hard with two toddlers in freezing Michigan in one house during cold and flu season.

Loving you like a child and respecting you as a grown up.

Your daughter,

Mandy

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5 Responses to “For My Parents”

  1. Grahampa Says:

    Thank you always for being our most wonderful daughter. We couldn’t have asked for a more thoughtful Christmas message! Love you dearly, Dad

  2. esiotrot Says:

    From my perspective, I see two amazing generations with a third warming up…

  3. Stephanie Walker Says:

    I am just finding this… but how lovely. I feel the same way. This inspires me to write my own letter to my parents. I’ve had these thoughts so many times and have yet to actually share them with my parents. You said it all so well.

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