August 13, 2012

10 Things My Parents Did Right


You know what? My parents don't completely suck. They never really did.

Shocking, I know. But here's the thing, we all think they do suck during every teen year at some point, don't we?

There are simply things kids cannot understand until they themselves are parents too. I'm already telling my kids this. Regularly!

The benefit of hindsight being what it is....

Things I Think My Parents Did Right

1. They tried - I had very young parents. My dad was 20 and my mom was almost 17 when I was born. They got married and became parents. Despite their divorce 5 years later, I know they tried. And I never really had any angst over it.

2. They didn't shelter me - One of my earliest memories is when our dog, Blue, had to be put down. My parents told me and had me say goodbye to him. I vividly remember crying and hugging his neck. The way they handled it, helped me understand. And I don't think anything was ever dumbed-down for me.

3. Cousins - My dad is one of five, so for the first 2/3 of my childhood (until I went to live with my mom) I spent as much time as possible with my cousins. I'm an only child, so I simply adored spending time with them.

4. I wasn't spoiled - Many only children can grow up spoiled rotten. When I was young my parents were working class, so they couldn't spoil me with material things. But I don't believe they would have if they had been able. I had everything I needed, plus one pretty awesome banana seat Schwinn bicycle!

5. Stability - My dad  and step-mom provided a steady, predictable home life where I knew what was expected of me, and I did it. This is not even something I can always do for my own kids due to my husband's health problems. But you can be damn sure that when we're not in crisis mode, my kids' little lives are steady and predictable.

6. Appreciation of the outdoors - I grew up camping, hiking, biking, boating, swimming and even did a little skiing. I hiked Mt. Pilchuck here in Washington when I was 2 or 3! Both my parents made sure I saw the beauty all around me, whether the lushness of the Pacific Northwest or the natural wonder of Yosemite Valley in California. And let's not forget that I got to LIVE in Lake Tahoe! I may not do many of those things anymore, but I still appreciate the beauty around me.

7. Music - My father is an audiophile who loves music, and has a nice singing voice. My uncle was a musician and singer who owned his own recording studio. My cousin is a concert pianist. My mother would turn ordinary conversation into song (with much eye rolling from me). I got to be in the school band, playing a flute that was rented to own. Such a fun memory I have is of my mom and I ROCKING OUT to Bon Jovi in her Jeep, singing at the top of our lungs. All of this rubbed off on me.

8. Knowing what makes you happy and doing it - When my parents were divorcing my mother realized she couldn't live in Washington anymore. But my dad had custody. It sucked that my mom needed to live so far away from me, but even when I was little I somehow understood, and even respected her for doing what she needed to do to build a life on her own.

9. Freedom to be me - I was free to learn whatever interested me. I was free to develop my own spiritual beliefs. When my mom decided to stop eating meat, she didn't force me to do so as well. My parents never tried to make me into some vision they had of who I should be.

10. An abundance of Love - No matter what ever happened in our lives, I never doubted that I was loved. There's not much more I can say about that. Just love. And affection. There were always hugs, kisses and "I love yous" going around!


  1. I'm sitting here, basking in the glow.....but somehow....I know....this never would have been written if I had been anywhere nearby when you first started dating boys?

    You do remember how I handled that one lad after you fell out of his car? He is probably still looking for his private parts.

    Love you so much, honey.


  2. Oh, goody!

    Glad you put a nice spin on this.

    Sounds like we didn't do too badly, after all!

    *and don't forget you climbed Mt. Tallac. Pretty sure you and Heather were going to kill us for that one!

    Love and hugs from Tahoe!!

  3. Sounds like you had some great parents. The not sheltering thing is hard. I was pretty sheltered. I can see how easily it happens. I'm trying not to do the same.

  4. Ok....first of all...So Love that your mom and dad were both the first to make comments!! awesome. that's a great testament to you all right there.

    being an only child, my cousins were my best friends pretty much too. our family is big and full of love and it made for the best childhood. I think I may have been a bit spoiled....but I am pretty sure I wasn't rotten. haha

  5. Allowing you to be you...that is such an important piece to growing up. I love the items you listed!

  6. Your parents sound wonderful. Also? I love your Dad's comment.

  7. So sweet that both of your parents commented on your post, and what a great list!

  8. Love your parents! Such a great lesson for me that telling your kids or child in my case how much you love them is so important. Amazing how you understood that your mom needed time alone. She was so young.

  9. I love that your parents both commented. Sweet.

  10. LOVE both of your parents' comments. Simply awesome.
    I really like how you did your list. It sounds like they way they raised you helped to prepare you and give you the strength for what was to come in life.

    1. When you put it that way, yeah, the way I was raised definitely helped prepare me for the future. Just goes to show, everything happens for a reason!

  11. My mom was very young when she had me (not quite 18) and she always made the best of things. I was lucky to have my grandparents around and later my step dad. Unfortunately, my "sperm donor" was never in the equation. This is a great list though...

    1. I'm sure you've had some curiosity about your "sperm donor", but I'm glad you had other great people in your life.

  12. This is so wonderful. You are so right about not understanding parenthood until we become one! And your parents sure did a whole lotta right. I must climb Mt. Pilchuck soon!

  13. This is such a great post - not only because of the lessons your parents gave you but because you can recognize and appreciate them!