Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Amazing, Awesome, Relax, Obey, Neat

This is a picture my daughter made for my husband on Father's Day last year, but it doesn't really have all that much to do with what I want to writer about today. I've been thinking about (and on a more private level, writing about) my parents a lot lately. I've never really thought I looked like my mom, but every once in a while I look at myself in the rear view mirror of my car and see her staring back. I forget how much of her I have in me.

And then I look at my daughter, who I also don't think looks like me, and I see a better and brighter version of myself bubbling inside her. She writes like crazy -- by the time I was a grade older than her I was writing 50 page "novels" and dreaming of writing for Rolling Stone, and she's going to be at exactly that same spot. Today she wrote a letter to the publisher of Archie comics, praising them for their work, for Pete's sake. While I sometimes fear that she's also inherited my anxiety, my shyness, and my tendency to be so very very hard on myself, when I see bits of myself in her, I feel nothing but pride.

Anyway, the point I wanted to make, is that I love seeing people with their parents. There are few things in this world that thrill me more than the opportunity to meet my friends' parents. I love seeing where the people I care about come from, if they look like their folks, and how they interact, if they share quirks. I am always so happy to receive invitations to friends' weddings just so I can see their parents. If their fathers cry, it's an added bonus.

Alternately, nothing makes me sadder when I hear that people have crap parents who they can't bear to include in their adult lives. Although I'm always fascinated by hearing those friends' stories, it breaks my heart to think that a parent could have failed his or her child so drastically. The thought of ever getting to that place with my own kids is one of my greatest fears.

So let's hear it for the great parents. Including my own.

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