I was chatting with my dad a while ago about this blog when he mentioned that I hadn’t said anything about him or my mom in a while. It makes sense, he said, because they aren’t really in my life anymore. He said he understood, that it was logical for a person of my age and place in life. It was just an observation.
And I thought about it. It’s true, I don’t write explicitly about my parents very often. And it’s true that as I’ve grown, particularly over the past few years since beginning college and leaving home, our relationships have changed as they need to parent me less and I cross that threshold into Seeing Parents As Actual Humans.
But I don’t think it’s true that they aren’t in my life anymore.
I don’t write about my parents precisely because their presence in my life is so ubiquitous that it would be like writing about air. I don’t write about them because their influence, their values and ways of thinking and ways of challenging myself are so deeply ingrained that it seems obvious to me that those influences are there, unnecessary to state. Anyone who meets me quickly learns how much I admire my parents, how both of them showed me how to be kind and work hard and stand up for myself and hold onto integrity. Anyone who then watches me interact with either my mom or my dad then usually says to me afterwards, “Wow, you really are that close.”
I don’t call as much as I should. I don’t always answer text messages. (I’m trying to work on those things.) I have even moved time zones, all the way to the other side of the country. So, no, they aren’t as personally and directly involved in my life as they were when they were pulling me in a wagon around the state fair or picking me up from rehearsal in high school. But, as much as I would love for them to still be nearby every single day, I do have the way they raised me, and so much of my vocabulary, my humor, my decision making comes from them that I forget that it needs to be stated.
So, Dad, I love you, but you were wrong. I don’t write about you and Mom because you are still so deeply a part of my life that it seems obvious to me that you are there between the lines of everything I write.
But I’ll try to say it more.