One does not simply fish without introspection.
Especially if one is fishing at the edge of a beach, with both arms freezing off, as we forgot all of our warm clothing at home. Because when we left Seattle, it was a balmy 85 degrees, and apparently nobody realized that the temperature actually decreases at night. Who knew?
I sigh as I categorize yet another fact into my list of “Things to Change When I am a Parent” that I keep in my head, when I stop and reconsider.
For some odd reason, ever since I was young, well, at least a lot younger than today, I have always wanted to be a parent, or a guide of some sort. It sorta explains why I always wanted a younger sibling, or a pet (still holding on to a pet bunny if anyone wants to get one for me). But I always wanted to guide, to mentor, the “right” way, not the sloppy ways of my parents. Clearly, they were doing something wrong, and it was my job to fix it for the next generation.
Note the very heavy use of sarcasm there.
But as I’ve built up those little lessons (take my kid out for hikes early, learn to sing before learning an instrument, read, read, read, write, read, go out and be social from a young age, and the newest, bring warm clothing wherever you go), I also realized all the pains that my parents have already taken to get me where I am today. How all parts of my behavior is a direct result of something that we done before.
I realized, standing on that chilly beach, that who I am is not only because of the successes that I have felt my parents have done, but also because of those lapses, those places where I have had to figure out something by myself, those moments of confusion when faced with the grand structure of things. Being a parent is not about raising a good child, it is about providing a child a family to go to.
Yes, yes, most of you adults out there have probably realized this, or at least given up on it, while your kids were screaming toddlers. But for me, this was a relevation. It means that my parents are not merely there to help me grow and learn, but they are there as my best friends, as my mentors but also fellow discovers. They are there to nudge me in the right direction, and sometimes their absence would allow me to find my own path.
Every mistake, every issue, every late night argument and shouting match, has allowed me to form the ideas that are today in my head. I owe it all to them.
Thank you, mom and dad, and thank you to all the parents out there for dealing with us. We appreciate you a lot more than we let on!