So I'm thinking about the fact that it's March already and that tomorrow is my mom's birthday, which gets me thinking about how close my parents are in age (they're 10 days apart--11 on leap years). They will both be 48 years old once tomorrow hits. It's amazing how much my family has grown. I'm finishing up my junior year in college, my sister and I will both be in college next school year, and my brother is officially a teenager.
About ten years ago, we started a new life when we made the move from Virginia Beach to Chesapeake (about 20-25 minutes away from our old house). My sister and I were too young to realize the reasons we were going to live in a new area. Mostly it was because of the school system, and the middle school that I would have gone to was known to be quite troublesome. The move wasn't all bad though. I only had a couple of good friends back in Va Beach. Even after the move, I didn't make a bunch of friends at once. I had about three good friends a year, and then the number rose slightly once high school hit.
So back to my parents. They're been married since '85, so that'll make 24 years in August. They were school rivals as well. My dad was at Hampton and my mom was at Norfolk State when they met. I'm not sure about the details, but I'm lucky that I have them. I know that they're going to be together for the rest of their lives. They're like the best of friends. Despite the fact that they're afraid for my siblings (eventually) and I (now) being outside of home, they mean well.
My mother is like one of my good friends, but I've become a bit distant, but I guess that comes with age and having more of a social life and responsibilities. I used to talk to her on the phone every single day. Now it's more like every other day, roughly. I can't tell her everything I've done now. I mean, of course we change and test the waters of our limits once we move away from home, but I don't want her to worry. I know that my dad and her trust me to make good decisions while I'm here. I've made plenty of mistakes and I've learned from most of them.
I've gotten closer to my dad (even though our bond can't match mom's) through being at college. He's the one who usually takes me home and back on certain weekends, and we have about 40-45 minutes to talk about anything. He's a cornball and I love to laugh, so it works. He can also be serious, especially when it comes to health and family matters. I believe he studied Health and/or Physical Education at HU. Anyway, he is a constant support system. His mother's been in and out of the hospital since October and he's always been there for her, even during the times when her mind hasn't been in the right place. I know he has lost weight and sleep when her health was at a low point. Most of his days would consist of him spending all day in the hospital and then going to work all night. I know I owe him everything, and I will be there for him just as much as he's been there for me and the rest of our family.
Times have been rough for us lately. My dad's been working more and going through training just so he can get paid more. My mother's the one who handles the bills (she was an Accounting major), so I'm usually hearing about money issues through her. I'm going to commute next year so I can save them some money and so that I can live more independently money-wise. Also, I can help out at home more. My mother's constantly in and out of the house, and it would be nice if I was home more so her load could be significantly lightened.
I realize more and more each day about the value of family and I wish my sister could understand at least half of it. She always seems ungrateful and unhappy. My dad's told me that it's easier for him to talk to me than talking to her. Sometimes it seems like she doesn't even like him. I mean, I know he's overprotective and overbearing at times, but there's other things that outshine that. My sister and I are the best of friends (always have been since we were younger), but our personalities are quite different. I feel that once she starts having the college experience, she's going to learn a whole lot more and stop being so naive and ungrateful. I think that's something that she needs to come face-to-face with on her own. Sometimes that's the only way people learn.
And she needs to watch this video:
Bottom line: I love my parents because they prove that they love me every waking day, and that's something I will never forget. That's one thing that I'm eternally grateful for.
(These pics are from summer of '06, back when I just graduated from high school. Omg. Time flies.)