Sunday, June 19, 2011

My Parents

These are my parents.

Sometimes people talk like teens are always embarrassed by their parents and don't want to be around them.  Or, at the very least, that teens don't want their peers to know that they might appreciate their parents.  And there are indeed some teens who have that kind of relationship with their parents.  But I wasn't one of those.

My parents are a team, with traits and preferences that are often more complementary than alike.  Differences like that can lead to a lot of conflict, but my parents were always intentional about negotiating such things throughout their parenting so they could be united in their decisions.  In the process, they have demonstrated respect for each other and cultivated that respect in us.  Their approach through differences also helped me (and probably them) to better see and evaluate situations, and to make good decisions.  I didn't always like their decisions, but they were always loving and always fair, which made it a whole lot easier for me to follow them.

My parents were very much a part of my life during my teen years.  I was quite involved (read: crazy busy) in sports, band, and other school-related activities.  Dad and Mom came to games, meets, concerts, parades, plays, and most other things I did.  I was often amazed by that.  Their time investment often didn't seem "practical" to me.  But they came.  And, as Mom also explained, traveling to other towns -- often an hour or so each direction -- gave them important time together.

They invested in my peers, too, intentionally getting to know my friends.  I didn't find them intrusive about it; they let me have space, and didn't sacrifice their parent roles to try to be good buddies with my peers.  My friends respected them and received their presence well.

Today is Father's Day, and I am grateful for my dad.  He is a wise and kind man with a gentle, courageous spirit.  I love, too, that he treasures my mom, and that my mom treasures him.

These are my parents, and I am blessed.