One morning, not too many years ago, I woke up to discover that my parents were people.
Now, hear me out, I’m not a lunatic. There is a day in every person’s life when you grow up and find out that “Mom and Dad” are actually humans with their very own personalities and—gasp—lives. You don’t really need them anymore for the big things—you now live away and there isn’t always contact every day.
This is when you make the discovery.
I have learned some things over the years about my parents that if you had told me when I was 10, I wouldn’t have understood. Now, these are quirks that make up my parent’s personas. These are things that truly make them who they are. I’ve listed a few so you can catch my drift.
1. My mother is an extremely anxious driver
When I was younger, my mom was my chaperone. She took my younger sister and I to sports games, friends’ houses, etc. You said the word and she was good for a ride.
Now that I am fully capable of driving on my own and have had the experience of driving both with her and for her, oh my god. The woman is anxious in the car. This is something that I was oblivious to my entire life. This is also something that makes my mother hilarious. It is as though once she sits inside the car, her body just cannot relax.
Perhaps this is why my dad always drove the family around.
2. My mother does not believe in expiry dates
Now, not to pick on my mom. She is an amazing lady. But this woman will keep a carton of milk, yogurt, you name it, two weeks past the date. My sister and I now have a running joke where we guess how old the various items will be in the fridge when we get there. You cannot bug my mother about this. She is set in her ways that they are “sell by dates.” Ugh.
3. My dad has a “holy cloth” and a wicked case of OCD
This is actually one of the funniest things to witness as a now-adult. My dad has always liked things “clean.” I quote the word because his version may not be the same that you have. My dad will pick up a glass that is half full, as I am actively drinking from it, to put it in the dishwasher. He will put things away for the sake of them being “away” and they will never be found again.
But the best thing about this case of cleaning is my dad’s holy cloth. My father will pick up a dish cloth and use it to wipe the entire house. The bathroom, the kitchen, the windows, the dog, the car, his face, the oven, the neighbor. Anything that my dad determines needs a wipe, that cloth has got it! At the end of the day, he’ll retire it to the laundry basket and find a new holy one for tomorrow.
4. My dad doesn’t know how to put on sunscreen
My parents own a boat, which means that they are in the sun a lot. This summer I watched my dad squirt half the bottle of sunscreen into his hands and proceed to rub it on his face and bald head. It looked like Uncle Fester was captaining the boat for the remainder of the day.
5. My mother is extremely intelligent
I think I grasped this a bit growing up. I did not realize just how intelligent my mother was until watching her play wheel of fortune. The woman can call out an answer with two letters on the board. She is well read and can finish a book in a day or two. She is one of those people who picks up a skill and has it down pat in half the allotted time. She is pretty cool, and I wish that I was half as talented as her. She is one of those people who is always crafting or creating when she isn’t busy staying late at work.
6. My dad might have the coolest job on the planet
I have always been proud of both of my parents for what they do in their professional lives. My dad, however, has had the insane capability to make a living out of his all-time favorite hobby. We used to joke that my dad would relax by going and playing the guitar. This would calm him down and make him happy. The thing is, though, my dad plays the guitar for a living. There is nothing in this entire world more inspiring than a parent who has made a career out of something that they love.
7. My parents are not only good people, but good friends
I think there is a day that you start to consider your parents as friends. I look forward to talking to them about anything and making trips to visit them to catch up. We can talk about anything over a beer, and at the same time, I can do so in my mother’s flannel pajamas, and maybe ask to borrow some money on my way home. Is there anything better than that kind of friendship?
These are just a few things that make my parents who they truly are. My parents will always be mom and dad, but now, I’m pretty excited that they are more than that.