I think we all have that moment. I had that moment as a young adult and I think my daughter just had that moment.
That moment in life when you actually see a person with real eyes. Especially when you see your parent with real eyes. It often happens in your 20’s when you are finally growing up. You no longer see your parent with the adoring eyes of a child or with the rebellious eyes of a teenager. You finally see them as a real person. Through the eyes of a grown up and an equal.
As a child, your parents are your world. You depend on them totally for so many things. They are your center of the universe, your safety net, your teachers and your love. You cannot imagine a world living away from them. I don’t think you even consider it at all when you are a child. As far as your world is concerned, the way it is is right in that moment is how it will always be. Living with your loving parents. Living in their protective, loving and safe haven. Your parents know all. They are your go to for everything. They are not perfect in your eyes. They are the loving giants in your life. You know no better and see them as part of you. They are what you see first thing in the morning when you wake up and the last thing when you go to sleep. They form the biggest and most important part of your little universe. That is how it will always be….right?
Slowly your outlook changes. Hormones start to ravage your body and your feelings and thoughts mostly confuse you. Your parents start to take on an annoying light. They stand in your way mostly. In your way of trying out life. To do and experience aspects of life you are so certain you are ready for. But they are holding you back under the umbrella of love and safety. They start to look less appealing. How can they really love you if they won’t let you do anything? You still love them deep down though mostly you won’t admit this least to them and sometimes not even to you. Your parents annoy the hell out of you and they are embarrassing. You start to distance yourself from them. To become a person on your own. In your own little universe. Your friends take the place of the people you look up to and adore. Sometimes, people, you don’t even know take the place, sports idols or musicians in your favorite band. You watch older grown up people in their late teens and 20’s and yearn to be a grown up. To be able to fully look after yourself and do what you want to do. To be free.
Finally, you are free. You move out of the family home. You are so excited and also a little scared. But you would never admit that. You struggle for some time, still needing your parents for guidance and mostly for financial help. Being free is a lot of fun, but it’s not always easy. The day to day responsibility of paying rent, eating and managing the finances from pay to pay is a chore you often wish to ignore. But that’s the pay for being free. For being on your own and being able to do what you want to do. You realize even when you are free from your parents you still can’t always do just what you want to do. It takes persistences, planning and sometimes hard work to achieve some form of freedom.
You start to realize what your parents have gone through raising you. You start to appreciate them again and you start to understand why they did what they did. Catching up with your parents become something you enjoy from time to time. And that’s when you have that moment. You finally see them for what they really are. Real people with real insecurities and real feelings. Just like everyone else. Just like yourself. They just do their best within their capabilities and within their personalities. They are not good or bad people. They are just people. But most of all you know they love you fully and absolutely.
That is when you have that moment in life that we all have when we finally are growing up. The moment of clarity when we see our parents with open independent eyes.