Last night we celebrated thirty fabulous years of my parents being married. They spent a few days in Naples together last week to celebrate the occasion early, but yesterday was the official day…You know, now that I think about it, the timing of this anniversary speaks volumes about the types of people my parents are. Why? Well, aside from the obvious fact that the thirty year milestone is rarely reached by couples; let alone happy couples, they timed their celebration selflessly. The reason that they celebrated in Naples a week early is because of my brother, Andy. Andy had to move out of his apartment in Athens this weekend, so of course my dad was there to help him (throwing off a proper celebration). I can't picture a moving day without my dad. He has orchastrated every move that any of us has ever made, and I don't know how we would get anywhere without him. Of course my mom handles all of the details; everything aside from the actual physical movement of heavy objects. Secondly, my parents wanted to celebrate with us because we are one of the biggest parts of their life together. Maybe I sound a bit overdramatic, but I can honestly say that every day of my life, I have felt entirely loved, appreciated, and supported by my parents.
It may be true that no one can actually know what they are getting into when they choose to have children, but I think the decision must rest on whether you are ready to handle the unexpected; to deal with the ups and the downs. My parents have effectively handled all of us through our best times and our worst times. What would be the use of a fair weather parent? Too many people flippantly make the decision to have kids. To bring a child into this world without careful contemplation is a selfish thing to do. It's one thing to make choices that primarily affect yourself; to live recklessly, to move around carelessly, to bounce along, unpredictable and haphazardly. But it's quite another to willfully bring another human being into a world that you haven't made stable and safe. I've been thinking a lot about this lately, and how frequently it happens, and about how lucky I have been. I didn't pay enough attention to this truth until Chris pointed it out. Basically, I never thought too much about children. I didn't think that I would have them; I didn't think that I would have a good reason to. And then I met Chris and he opened my eyes up to something that has been in my face and in my life since I was born. We were sitting at dinner one night, and he was asking me why I didn't think having my own family was a top priority. I mumbled some incoherent answer about self-fulfillment and a career, and he sort of laughed at me in disbelief. He told me that what I had with my family is what everyone strives for. He thought that I was crazy not to want the same thing. And then I realized that I was so accustomed to having this incredible family that I never thought of it as a goal. I already had the thing that Chris said everyone wants so badly, and I failed to impute that into my own adult life. In that brief conversation, my entire perception shifted. You know, it must be incredible to have children that you want to hang out with; I know it's incredible to have parents I consider to be my best friends.
Parents must assume the role of teachers. They can't just slack one day and think you'll pick it up on your own because you won't. Everything a parent does and says becomes a part of their children's tapestry of memories. It is a job that you must agree to take on for life. Even when your child is 45, he or she will be in need of your 70-year old wisdom. I hope that I can live my like my parents. I hope that I can love and teach and be there no matter what happens. Your parents are the ones who should ultimately be there for you; after all, they are the ones who brought you here and are therefore the ones who should be most interested in how you think and live! 🙂
Mom, you are so funny and sweet and beautiful and I love you so much. You laugh at my jokes, you are so open minded and accepting, you make me relax, and I love sipping pina coladas with you. Dad, you have all of the answers and you make me feel like everything will be ok. You are the most charismatic person I've ever encountered (which I epsecially know to be true now that I work with you!). I admire how you treat everyone you come across with kindness and respect. And thank you for my brothers. Andy and Flip are so funny and awesome and my other best friends! I'm sorry to be so sappy, but this is how I feel about all of you.
Anyway, I got off on a bit of a tangent, but what I meant to say was, HAPPY THITYIETH ANNIVERSARY!!!!!! YOU ARE THE BEST!!!!