When I was a kid, I was scared of a lot of things. A naturally anxious child, I fretted about whether I was a good person, what I would be when I grew up, if anyone even liked me. Despite a pretty stable existence, the world often seemed like it could change so quickly that I was sure its inconsistencies would some day bop me over the head, turn my world upside down, and try and break me apart.
Then, I would see my mom and dad, and take pause. My parents, their love for us, and their love for each other are the constant, steadying force that often helps me find my center. When everything seems to be unraveling, that love pierces through as a reminder I can look at, thinking, This, this is a pure, holy, true thing.
That’s not to say I think it has been easy. My parents have gotten through things that, as kids, we just assumed they would handle. Health issues and long commutes to LA so we could live in a nice area and go to great schools. Jobs that were emotionally taxing and kids that didn’t always understand that (mostly me). My parents love is a love of perseverance and tough choices, of looking at problems and finding a way to joyfully move forward, however difficult. Theirs is the kind of love that faces challenges head on and can look back after and laugh about how they got over that hump or out of that hole.
At a time when, honestly, I know two-parent households weren’t necessarily the norm, I marvel that I was so blessed to have not only that, but a childhood filled to the brim with this joyful, consistent, lasting love. I know it is the kind of love that, now, helps me face my own problems head on, and look back after and smile, because I was able to make it through.
So, thanks Mommy and Daddy. Your love story is one that teaches me more than any Disney movie or fairy tale ever could, because it’s one that I get to live through and witness every single day.