I’m hanging on for dear life to those last ties to my childhood.
While I am now a mother, I am still a daughter and sometimes I like to be cared for like one. My parents are my friends, my counsel, my teachers, my life. When I need advice, after talking to my husband, they are the next people I call. I speak to them several times a week and see them at least once. We live less than 5 miles from my childhood home.
I love going to my parents’ house, my childhood home. My mom still makes the best meals and always has leftovers to send home with me. My son knows where the toys are there, he has a room with his Pack ‘n Play, and there are always extra diapers and clothes for him.
While I may no longer be the center of attention (the grandbaby wears that crown proudly now), I am still their child. I still have a room with my pictures displayed inside. Some of my old clothes still hang in my closet. My parents even saved toys and books from my childhood that I can now share with my son.
When my husband travels, we spend a lot of time at my parents’ house. It’s a safe place to go where I can let it all hang out and take a few breaths. My mom loves to entertain my son and I like to discuss current events with my dad. We sit around and have coffee, my mom makes eggs, and we enjoy each other’s company.
What’s scary is that I know my parents are aging. I don’t like to see it. But it’s there, it’s happening.
My father has had some serious health complications in the last few years. I hate seeing him sick. I still idolize my father and to see him ill, but fighting to get well is so hard. It leaves me paralyzed somewhere between child and adult caregiver.
I want to help my parents all I can. If I can make their lives easier, I want to. I want to lift the heavy things, handle yard work, but I also have my own life that I’m trying to manage. While I want to care for them, sometimes I need parents. I want to remember that I am a child, I can be cared for, the world is not all on my shoulders. It’s selfish, but it’s true.
It’s a strange kind of love I have for my parents. It’s a transitioning kind of love. I don’t want to fully grow up. Not yet. Not ever.
I always want to have that safe place to go to, that shoulder for comfort, that judgement-free zone. I know it won’t be there forever, physically anyway. So I hold my breath. I try to savor all the moments. I try to memorize the smells, smiles, words, hugs, kisses, glances, giggles, and even simple companionship. My parents are where I came from. They helped make me who I am and define how I see myself.