Some people might see their parents as figures of authority, repression, obedience or even a barrier. But, I see them in a very different way. I realised this quite recently. I think I was about 15 (which is like 2 years ago lol) when I started to think about what my life is and what role does my parents have in it. What is it that made them so full of impact? Are we close or not? Is what we have enough?
I didn’t find the answer quite quickly because I tend to think a lot. I didn’t simplify it, I analyze it and trace it. In the end, it all comes down to one thing. I see them both as indeed a figure of authority that I realised on my own, I need badly and unsurprisingly my best friends. In every sense of the word. Why? Some people may not achieve this kind of relationship with their folks due to one thing or another. Maybe it’s best for them that way or they are struggling to want to get there or just simply gave up on it. But, I am quite grateful that the relationship I have with my mum and dad are close enough for me to feel comfortable to talk about anything and everything. Literally.
I remember once I went to a friend’s birthday party with a bunch of my other friends. We get there by a car which one of my friends drove. And while we drove there, one of my girl friends brought a vapor. So, naturally I get curious cause I have seen this thing everywhere! I didn’t know what it is, what does it do and why is it such a hype (I have to say, that last point is still a question to me). I asked her and she of course explain to me what it is and how does it work. She showed me and well, next thing I know, I was vaping in a car and I remember it was Root Beer flavoured. It tastes quite interesting. Although, I have to say after trying it, it’s kind of underwhelming. I didn’t find anything special in it, only that the root beer flavour tastes really sweet.
That’s not all, after that we arrived. My boy friends, almost all of them smoked now. Like, cigarette smoking. So, that was news to me. And I also found out that the same friend who got me into trying to vape also smoke real as shit cigarette so that was news to me as well. I watched them and my mind began to wonder: Right, so my dad smokes and I see him quite a lot doing his thing. I have only smelled the annoying smoke that came out of his mouth but, never really know how does it feel to actually do the smoking. I have never been curious about cigarettes, I say that honestly. Because to be honest, although I kinda tolerate my dad for smoking (even though I’m worried about his health because for me a cigarette is a ticking time bomb), I hate the annoying shitty smell of it. I cannot fucking breathe around it. So, no. Cigarettes never appeal to me.
But, something struck a chord to me that night and after the party was almost over and we were about to get in the car to go back home. My friend pulled out one more cig and smoke before we get in. I brace myself up and went up to her, “Hey uh, can I try one of those?” I asked her and she just looked at me like, “You’re fucking kidding me? You’re serious? You wanna try a cig? Kya? You?” She just looked at me. And I was like, “Yeah, sure. I’ve seen my dad smoke. It’s just a cig. Never tried one. I’m curious.” I explained to her. She was like. “Aight, okay.” Shrug it off and gave one to me. So, I took it. She lit it up. I looked at it like this is a life and death situation because I know very well that my parents are against it. But, then I shook that thought off and inhale the shit. I tasted it and exhale and quickly gave it back to my friend who then chuckled at me. I looked at her and was like, “That shit stinks. I hate that shit. Why would you inhale fucking smokes?!” She just shook her head and continued smoking.
At the time, my way of thinking was “well, I might as well try this shit now or I will be curious for the rest of my life and that ain’t satisfactory.” Which, I have to say, although it makes a kind of sense at the time because I was fueled with raging teenager curiosity hormone, it’s actually a double edged sword and can’t be implemented in every situation. I realised how weak that argument is if I ever have to defend my actions that night. I then mentally vowed to never smoke again cause of the sheer bleghh feeling of it.
Anyway, do you know what was my first thought after doing all of those shit I wasn’t supposed to be doing?
The first thing that came to my mind was: I gotta tell my parents about the experience tonight! They have to know I tried vaping and smoking!
I did the things I know were kind of troubling. And I know for a fact that perhaps my parents are worried that someday one (if not all) of their kids would smoke because that shit is not good at all. But, here I am having committed the damn felony and my first thoughts were, they have to know!
That must got you thinking. I must be really close to them? The answer is yes, at least in my part. I am that close to them that I figured trying a cigarette and vaping are some major life experiences that I don’t want them to be left out of. I trust them so much that I felt like I just can’t keep this to myself and lie my way out. No. This shit is big and they have to know! I never hide stuff from my parents. I always tell them things about myself and/or my life to them. Because I just feel like it’s the right thing to do. Not because they made it obligatory for me to tell them. Oh and by the way I did tell them and they were concerned but, here’s the thing. They didn’t went bat shit crazy and got mad at me. I think (I may be wrong though), they sort of looked at it from a curious teen perspective. After all, they were teens too. Maybe they understand why I decided to do that. So, they tried to give me an understanding on why it’s bad and destructive. But, honestly, they don’t need to worry. I promise them that I wouldn’t do it again. I know the consequences and I don’t wanna risk my health.
It’s not just that. When I have a crush or a romantic feeling for someone or an attraction or whatever, I tell them too and some times laugh with them about it. When I feel like I want to murder someone because I am so pissed, I would say it too. When there’s issues with the world and I have opinions, strong opinions on it, I would voice it and try to get their views as well and we would have lengthy discussions about it. When I am fan girling about my favourite band whose members are in their 50s and how I obsess over handsome actors who are mostly my parents’ age, I get them to freaking suffer with me through the undying thirst for grown men in movies. I let them went through everything with me, in fact, I invited them over to my doorstep.
The question is why do I have this level of trust? How did they do it?
I am not a parent, obviously. So, I really don’t know all of this parenting stuff. I don’t think I will ever know until I have my own children (i’m nervous about that even though it won’t happen soon but, still). But, from how I see it, they always speak from experience. I don’t know if this is accurate but, that’s how I feel at least. They also never enforce their role as a figure of authority in my life, the way I feel it. They make sure we (my siblings and I) know their position as parents and they make sure we treat them as such. Which I have no complains about because I do feel that’s how it’s supposed to be. But, they also know how to position themselves as us and as our friends and as someone who actually went through same shit and stages as we do. Rather than trashing that side of their lives completely, they kept it and use it as a reference when dealing with their kids. So, it’s much easier I guess for them to deal with us because they know, they have been there. The shit we do, they passed it. They went through it. They relate it to us and they imply that element in their ways of parenting.
I have a feeling that some parents trash their youth away. They enforce themselves as this no fun personalities. They forget how being young and reckless happened in life. They force, they dictate and I think that’s kinda fucked up. Because, in most cases I think it drove their children away. They can’t relate themselves, they can’t feel this mutual bonding and trust because there weren’t any in the first place. It’s always suspicions and judgments and constant “you’re wrong at this and that!” They never felt a safe space and again, I think that’s fucked up.
When I think of safe space and home. I don’t think of a place or a thing. I think of feelings and people. And those feelings and people are my parents. I feel the most comfortable, the safest, the most open and the most home-y when they’re there. Because they didn’t just made or gave birth to me. They get to know me. That’s important. Most cases, parents don’t even know their own children. That’s sad. Really sad.
One thing worth noting also is that my mum treats me like her friend too in between her role as a mother. She would tell me stories that amused her, she would share with me her experiences. The funny ones, the agitating ones, the frustrating ones even the ones that made her cry and broken beyond beliefs. I think that sorta provide the sense of recognition and made me feel like there is mutual trust between us that we felt like it’s not right if we don’t share this particularly interesting things that happened on our day or on our trip somewhere or whatever to one another. It’s that sense of acceptance of one another and I guess a mother-daughter bond that easily made its way to also being a unique kind of friendship. It’s like we are girl friends from a totally different generation but somehow found a common ground to connect and it’s bloody great. Her and I, whether she want to admit it or not I think has a lot of things in common. This year, I think, shit happens in our family that causes me to see a more emotional side of my mum and to be honest that made me realise that I might get my super emotional side from her. Because when she does that in front of me, when she pour her heart out to me, I see myself and how I do it, although sometimes privately on a piece of paper or a notebook. I just realise the fact that I might have loads of things in common with my mother more than I previously thought. It’s a moment of discovery, in a way.
My dad and I, personally I think, we both have our own bond as a father and daughter. I don’t think neither him and I are the type of person who express things quite so frontal, at least to one another. I think he knows that I love him despite the fact that I never really say it because I just feel like I don’t need to. I know him enough to believe that he knows that already. We bonded over things that are a subject of interests for the both of us. We talked about loads of stuff from general knowledge to history to royalty (which I am completely obsessed about) to experiences even as far as his high school shenanigans which sometimes got me baffled but, like, in a hilarious way. Sometimes I brought out my opinions on stuff to him and see what his thoughts are on the matter because I am genuinely interested. We are very alike in terms of appearance, a million people has told us that which I find quite irritating as time goes on because like, dude I know I look like my dad cause I’m his hecking daughter, geez. But, I really can’t blame people cause the resemblance is uncanny. But, appearance aside, I do also think that we have similar traits as well whether we realise it or want to admit it or not. Like, I think the way we are as critics on some stuff we deem unsuitable. The way we express it can be eerily similar sometimes. I dunno if he notice but, at some point I did. Heck, it’s in the genes.
I think I can speak for my siblings when I say that we are close to our mum and dad. In a sense that we share things to one another and we felt comfortable with each other and within each other’s presence. I think that’s part of what makes them our best friends or at least mine. I just feel like, not only that I am allowed to live on their house, their property but, I am also included in their lives and I think that’s great. I don’t just exist. They acknowledged and get to know me and try to understand me. Sometimes, I can be difficult but, I think it’s just a phase. So, I hope they have patience because I can be quite a handful.
There are times I think that my brothers and I forget our place as children of these two people. The thing about my parents is that they became our friends, align themselves to us but, does not let us forget who they are and why they are here. What they are in our lives and where their place is. They taught us how to respect them as the authority we need and how to treat them as parents. They became our friends but, never let us forget who they are in the first place. So we don’t cross the line. It’s cool how they balance that out and how? I don’t have a clue.
My parents’ way of parenting is something I am grateful about because I’ve never felt that they are a barrier in my life. I’ve never felt that they are restraining me from the things I am passionate about. Sometimes they projected me to do certain stuff but, I get their thinking even though I rebelled against it, in some ways. But, they always support me in my ambitions, what I aspire to do and what I set my mind in. Sometimes, I get that point in the middle of the bridge where I am crossing to get to my goal, that rocky point where things seemed to be uncertain for me and somehow they have this magic power to get everything done and made me feel at ease again. How? I don’t have a freaking clue.
I think if I can reduce the meaning of their presence in my life in to a simplicity of a sentence, I have to say that they are my home and my best freaking friends.
I have no idea why I decided to write this 2000+ words of a blog post emotionally throwing up sentimental stuff about my parents but, I did it and here it is. It’s kind of a proof of how open and expressive I am with things.
I hope you guys feel as amazing as I am and incredibly blessed to have such parents.
Keep living your best life.