Why You Should Make Peace With Your Parents (Even If They Drive You Insane)

     Over the weekend on Saturday night, at around 3 in the morning after finishing watching American Beauty (amazing movie, go watch it), I couldn’t fall asleep. So, I looked through my bookshelf, find a book and read it until I got drowsy to the point that I would be able to fall asleep.  I came across a book that I haven’t recognized in over fourteen years; it was a book my mom used to read to me when I was a toddler. The book cover depicted a mischievous toddler in the bathroom holding a watch and, overall, causing trouble as shown by all the toilet paper draping the toilet in the background.  If you haven’t guessed it already, the book is called Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. If you don’t know what book I’m talking about, then you can read it here. To sum it up, the book tells the story of the relationship between a boy and his mother. As the boy grew older, he causes more stress and torment to his mother. The recurring theme in the book was that no matter how vexatious the boy was, his mother would always go to his room while he is asleep and cradle him while saying the following words:

“I'll love you forever,                                    
I'll like you for always, 
As long as I'm living, 
my baby you'll be.” 

     The final illustration in the book shows the boy, now grown up and with a family of his own, cradling his own child saying the same words his mother said to him when he was asleep, thus beginning a cycle.

      As a 20 year old college student, reading the last page was very tear-jerking, and for many reasons.

1.      It made me reminisce about how much of a handful I was with my parents growing up.

2.      It was nostalgic.

3.      The book was profound! The mother presumably dies later in the story as it is hinted that she was “old and sick” when her grown up son went to visit her as an adult.

     For me, the third reason was deep because of how real it was. There are times in my life that I have taken my parents for granted. Whether it was me getting tired of them saying “I love you” to me, or when I get greeted with a hug from my mom when I get home from school, or when they provide a roof on my head, or when I get the personal space I needed during something frivolous such as doing poorly in a track and field meet or not getting the LEGO set you wanted for Christmas.  It's the little things that turn into the bigger things.

      Don’t for granted the trivial things your parents would do day-to-day. Your parents won’t live forever. In fact, they aren’t guaranteed a tomorrow. Sometimes there might be days where you get in a fight with your mom or dad because you wanted to go to that rock concert or you wanted to go to your friend’s unsupervised party, but don’t hold a grudge with them. Learn to forgive and forget, and don’t forget to give your parents a hug every day because there WILL be a day when your parents will die. And if you weren’t on good terms with them when they died, it will come back to bedevil you. By then, you can only ever reflect on the past, with deep regret, and think to yourself,

If only I could have hugged them one more time.”