Two songs that always make me think of my parents - I suggest playing while you read:
I've heard it said that it's not until we reach our mid twenties that we can fully recognize our parents as real people. Something inside clicks, and we realize that not long ago they too were twenty-five; scraping by, unsure of what the future held, trying to carve out their place in the world.
I've always been grateful for my parents, but there's been a shift in the last few years that's opened my eyes to all that my parents have done for my sister and I. When I look at pictures of my childhood I can still feel the sense of comfort and security that their love for us and for one another provided. Steady, honest, real love.
My mom's excitement for life and desire to celebrate even the smallest occasions, paired with my dad's passion for travel and adventure made for the best kind of childhood. Beautifully warm holidays and family vacations that were peppered with as much learning and culture as my dad could pack in. From school projects to Sunday night dinners, my parent's desire to "live big" has lit a fire within me to never settle for ordinary.
There are certain images of my parents that stand out from the rest; my mom bent over a sewing machine making our Halloween costumes by hand, the sound of the computer keyboard tapping into the wee hours of the morning while my dad tried to crank out just one more article to bring in extra money for our family. It's the memory of my mom steadily pacing in the hospital waiting room while my dad was in the operating room undergoing surgery to remove his prostate cancer. It's the look of complete adoration on my dad's face when he watches my mom as a grandmother.
I've been asked why I decided to marry at a young age. Clearly, finding the right person had a lot to do with it -- but even more so, it's my parent's model of marriage that has given me so much to look forward to.
From 1979, when wearing a powder blue leisure suit in public was socially acceptable through the 80s and 90s when my mom's hair soared to new heights (literally), one constant has remained -- their love and deep respect for one another.
In their thirty years of love and laughter, silly and not-so-silly arguments, diaper changes and late night feedings, chorus concerts and graduations, hard times and moments of pure joy, from walking Brittany and I to the bus stop to walking us both down the aisle -- they've done it all with such grace.
Here's to the next 30!