Friday Reflections, hosted by Sanch Vee and Corinne had a very intresting question, ‘Describe your relationship with your parents. Has it changed? For better or worse? ‘, as a prompt. The question took me down memory lane and here I share snippets of memory with you.
I grew up with Parents who were, and still are, as different from each other as Chalk is from Cheese. So, while my Mother advocated, ‘If someone slaps you, offer them the other cheek too’ my Father was most likely to ask ,‘Why the hell did you allow someone to slap you at all?’
Their differing views confused me, and being a quiet and sensitive child I kept my confusion to myself. After my Grandparents had passed away, my Parents had their hands full and their responsibilities were high, what with bringing up a huge family together. There was plenty of love to go around for me and my younger Sister, in the form of Uncles and Aunts and sundry and I never got around to connecting or having close chats with my Parents.
In my Teens I even began to think that they didn’t care for me at all, as there was no pressure from their side on me or my siblings. No pressure, about studies or life, no curfew as long as we told them where we were and zero expectations. It is only as I grew up and started looking at and interacting with friend’s families did I realize how truly lucky I was.
Things changed when I started traveling with my Father. Waits in airport lounges, and long flights turned into tete-a-tetes where we caught up on all the years we had lost out on. I shared with Dad what I had felt growing up and it was a revelation to him. He shared stories of his struggles and dreams and I realized that there was so much I didn’t know about my Father. Airports have always been special place for me since then. In between all the comings and goings and the transitions around us, Father and Daughter found ourselves.
Mom, Dad and I have been thick friends for the past many years now. We have big laughs, discuss family issues and gossip, I chide them, I argue with them I have massive rows with them. I sulk, Mom sulks, Dad never does and is the one to pacify us both. Dad still calls up to ask me my opinion before buying anything new. Mum waits for my trips to Bombay so she can refresh and upgrade her wardrobe by my choices.
As I grow older I realize the subtle reversal of roles, with me asking after them, worrying about them and taking care of them, just as they did when I was growing up.
They are not perfect, but they are to me. They are my friends, my Relationship Goals and I will forever be grateful that all that I know I learnt from watching them live gracefully, give generously and help as many people as they could.
It’s not only children who grow. Parents do too. As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours. I can’t tell my children to reach for the sun. All I can do is reach for it, myself.