As a child, your parent is the one to provide for you and hopefully ensure that you become a half functioning member of society.  Despite the different childhoods we all experience the ideal parents become those who put their children first and everything else second. Given this expectation of a parental figure parents become role models for their children to the extent that at some point their children try to emulate the personalities that they see their parents portray. There are many activities like playing dress up, playing house and the like that are exactly that, a child trying to play the grown up, a child living out the life they see themselves in.

Ideally, in most instances, and fortunately in mine,  parents even if there is something inside of them yearning to be somewhere else or do something else at least maintain a “normal” facade for their child. Although my parents were never together I felt like I had a relatively normal childhood because I was surrounded by parents and family who loved me and provided for me in all the same ways married parents could. Certain aspects of my childhood were obviously different but needless to say I turned out quite well and don’t recall being traumatized in my primary stages of life. Some could argue that the facade concept is detrimental to a child, and maybe it is but that is besides the point.

What I find particularly strange now however, even when I listen to my friends speak of their parents, is that all of a sudden parents have  potential to become completely different people after a certain stage in your life. Although you spend your entire life with your parents it becomes apparent that you don’t know who they are completely until you are older. When your relationship with your parents start maturing it is strange to see how much you really didn’t know. I still have a hard time believing that my parents were in my shoes once, at least in the position of being uncertain about their futures and relationships but so full of dreams and I find it even harder to believe that they can still feel the same uncertainties this far in life.Because my parents are not together watching them develop through my adult eyes has been especially interesting because I see their development separately  however the similarities are strangely consistant.

As children we used to tell ourselves we wanted to be just like our parents and have perfect lives but the realization that they are far from who you want to be at their age and that their lives are less than perfect almost sees your whole concept of life being turned inside out. I am sure many of you would still love to be like your parents and perhaps your parents are far more “normal” than mine however I have really come to realize how different I am from them and how differently I want to live my life, how hard I want to try to avoid being lost like they are. I have a sadness in my heart for my mother and father due to the simple fact that although they are lovely people and full of love for me they are ultimately still incomplete as they inch closer to 50. Neither of my parents have found what they had started looking for years ago and it makes me anxious, will I be in this same position at their age? I sure hope not, and because I hope not should I feel guilty for not wanting to be like them? Will they, or I, ever find what we are looking for?

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