I'm in a thinky mood, which (oddly enough) distracts me from the thesis writing. And so, I'll write this out first, and maybe that'll get the thinkiness out of my system.
This is as inspired by Amanda's ode to her father. I've been thinking that I'm really blessed in the parents that I have. I've been thinking of this all the more so because I spent the past couple of days with them, which was fun. I've especially been thinking of this since my last post, which caused me to realise that I really do have amazingly supportive parents. Whatever we kids decided to do with our lives, we didn't get criticism from our parents. My sister went into Math Education, I went into History, and my brother started off undeclared, and is now in Geography, and I'm not sure that any of us ever got lectured that we had to figure out what we wanted to do with our lives. My parents didn't make me feel like I was throwing my life away by going into a career that didn't promise much money. They did everything they could to support me and, when I was behind on my Honour's Paper and staying up until all hours of the night, lost quite a bit of sleep over it, worrying about me. My dad claims that his nagging caused me to finish my degree. Okay, it was good that I moved out before the MA.
We used to tease my parents that we only went on vacations to places that had family members or church camps, and yet I've been to some really cool places. I'd never been in an airplane until I went to Europe in 2003, because we went everywhere by car. My parents were the masters of the road trip -- each of us kids would have a bag that hung off of the back of the seat filled with colouring books and our toys, and we'd play license plate games and things. I loved those trips, and was often a little sad when we got to our destination, 12-hour driving days notwithstanding.
When my mom would put me to bed, she'd somehow hear me calling for her, regardless of how quietly I'd call. I'd often call her several times, most of those times because I wanted a hug. My mom gives good hugs.
My dad could pretty well have an honorary degree in History. He would let me talk out all of my essays, and question me on things. My parents started us on politics young -- we'd watch political comedies and the news, and during the 1988 federal election, we all watched the debate together, and all three of us kids picked our favourite to cheer for. I still debate these kinds of things with my dad. He taught me more about political economy than my PoliSci 100 prof did -- we'd argue liberalism and Adam Smith, and I think he somehow made me more socialist than I was before, economically speaking. Which is odd, because I don't think he's really socialist. My dad taught me how to think for myself.
At the same time, I grew up having people I could get spiritual advice from, in my home. If I had questions about God or about the church, I could talk to one of the elders in my church -- my dad! If he doesn't know something, he will look it up. And does he get excited! (In his quiet way.) He's not a shout-and-bang-the-pulpit kind of preacher, but when you get him started on healing, and on the resurrection!
My mom taught me how to take care of other people. She does it all the time -- in our family and in our church. She's involved everywhere, and is constantly giving. She cares about everyone, and keeps up on how everyone is doing. I see a lot of her tendencies in me, now.
My mom drove to my house, on one of the coldest winter days, and helped me fix my car. She came with me to get my bridesmaid dress fabric. She sat with me through my allergy tests; I even slept at my parents' house on the night between the tests, so that she could drive me in the morning. My mom came with me through all of my apartment hunting, and she was the first person to see my engagement ring. (I think that's one of the biggest reactions I've gotten out of her! She's a fairly mellow person.)
My parents are my friends and my advisors. They love to spend time with me, and they often invite my friends, too! They miss having my friends around, and reminisce about the time that we all got ready for Terra's wedding at our house, and how Ariann played the piano the whole time. On Sunday, after my parents took a lady from church and me out for lunch, Dad insisted that I should drive him home, while mom took the other lady. When I asked him which way we should take from the CBC building (where the wonderful Peter's Cafe has Sunday brunch), he immediately informed me we were going to drive around the lake and check out the "Big Dig." My dad is simultaneously a wise old man and an excited little kid. We checked out the machines and the progress of the digging.
Then we went to my parents' house, and I tried on my wedding dress again, this time with the new shoes. I hear a lot of people complain about the stresses they have with their parents, when they get married. I really have no idea what that's like. They just want to make sure I don't make this all too big and stressful.
My parents welcomed Chris into our family immediately.
I love my mom and I love my dad. I'm really blessed.
(Mom and Dad: sorry for putting all this attention on you! I know Dad said I don't need to talk about him. Love you!)