Today is Forgive Mom and Dad Day, and it’s an appropriate one for me, as I’ve been having some issues in this arena lately.
On the whole, I have no cause for complaint. My parents are wonderful. I had a childhood filled with kisses and laughter, with game nights and sports and music lessons and books. I couldn’t ask for better grandparents for our kids. We even bought the house next door to my parents so we could be closer to them.
It’s easy to view your parents as only that – parents. They exist only in that role. But of course that’s not true. They are individuals, and they have strengths and flaws and dreams and neuroses just like anyone else.
I started my own family early, when I was only 22. So I learned quite a while ago exactly who my parents were as individuals. (Yes, I think it helps to have your own family to understand your parents better. Not essential, but it helps.) My parents suddenly let down their guard as my own role transitioned from daughter to wife and mother. They shared insights and anxieties and struggles that I wasn’t privy to before. The bloom was off the rose.
Not to say they’re horrible people. They’re not. But they are very human. We all are.
My parents are divorcing after 42 years of marriage. They are deciding to be individuals and to focus on themselves for the first time in their adult lives. It’s not something I need to forgive them for, as they haven’t done anything wrong. They are, in essence, making a course correction. And it just sucks that it’s affecting the entire family.
So this isn’t a post about forgiveness, per se, but about understanding. I get it. I get what parents are doing and why they’re doing it. Now it’s up to me to adjust and help my kids get through it. Dwelling on who did what to whom and who’s at fault serves no purpose.
I’ve always loved my parents. Still do.