Post #20 in this challenge is to describe my relationship with my parents.
I don’t even know where to begin.
So lets go back to my childhood.
My parents raised my brother and I to have fun, be smart and love God. I’ve mentioned this before, but I wouldn’t trade my childhood for anything. My parents were a good mix of structured (we had rules) and free (we were allowed to make our own decisions). At the time, some things didn’t make sense, but now they really do make sense. For example, when my brother and I reached 5th grade, my parents gave us the choice of going to boarding school. They explained that it was a choice, and that they wanted us to make the decision. They also said that we (their children) were their priority, and that “the ministry” of being missionaries was second to the ministry of their children. As missionaries, there are a lot of things that are given up when heading overseas- the ideal schooling setting, access to health care, being away from family, etc. My parents explained to us that while their job as missionaries was really important, their job as parents was even more important. My brother and I both ended up at boarding school- there were certainly ups and downs, but we both loved it for the most part.
As I went to boarding school, my relationship with my parents got stronger. I missed them something terrible, and we would write letters back and forth. I would look forward to seeing them whenever they came into town, and holidays spent together were always precious (even though we still had our family spats =)). I was never a rebellious child, or one that hated my parents, so I feel that I have always had a good relationship with my parents.
Enter college. Living away from my parents was not new, so our relationship continued much the way it had when I was at boarding school. Letters, emails, phone calls and visits. Sometimes I hate the phone calls, though. It reminds me how far away we really are, that I have to talk into this device instead of to their faces.
Then, enter marriage. As I began navigating the waters of marriage, I wonder how many parents do it all these years. They have been together for over 26 years, and they are still going strong. The more I learn about marriage and “real life”, the more respect I have for my parents, and the closer I feel with them.
I can’t even imagine how I will feel about all this when I have my own kids!
I love you, Dad and Mom. Thank you for all the time, energy, wisdom, prayer, advice and encouragement you have given to me, and now Theo. I have learned so much from both of you. I hope to one day follow in your footsteps of being a great parent, missionary and friend.