Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, here’s day three of the thirty day writing challenge!

Describe your relationship with your parents:

I feel very fortunate to have the parents that I have. They come from very different backgrounds and I feel having these polar opposites has given me a well rounded view of much of the world.

My father comes from a strong military background. He was a military brat. He grew up moving all around the world. His father is Jewish and his mother is German. When he turned 17, he went to West Point for civil engineering, joined the army, then eventually went to UVA for law school. He had a successful military career and retired at a young age as a Colonel. He’s extremely bright, competent, and just all around impressive.

My parents divorced when I was young. My dad raised me. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say he is one of my best friends. If I could describe our relationship growing up in one word, I would say fair. He was always fair. If he had a request, it was never out of a power trip. He always explained why he needed me to do something, or how doing something would be beneficial in one way or another. He set an extremely good example for me and my sister and seemed to strike a fine balance of being both a care taker and a friend. I never once questioned if I was a priority in his life. Now that I’m older, I’d say we have became great friends. I can call him and talk to him about (almost) anything and genuinely enjoy hanging out with him.

My mother comes from a small island in the South Pacific called Kosrae. She grew up there her entire life until she was 18. She didn’t have many of the luxuries many of us have here in the U.S. and spent her days helping her family of 11 with household duties and relaxing on pristine beaches. My mother is very bright. She came to the U.S. in her early twenties and eventually earned a degree in accounting; something a tiny fraction of a percent of people from the island can say they’ve done. She now runs a successful business on the island and is doing very well for herself.

I saw my mother usually around twice a year. Growing up, I didn’t understand certain things and there were times that would lead to explosive arguments. One day I’d be having a great time, the next I’d be counting down the days until I could return back to my dad’s house. As a child I’d say my relationship with her was much more strained, but as I got older and became more aware, there was a change. If there’s anything I can’t tell my dad, I can always call my mom. She is very wise and always surprises me with advice I wouldn’t have been able to come up with myself. I almost see her as my much older sister because I feel like I can talk to her about things a lot of people can’t talk to their parents about. When I call her, I always know there’s going to be a good laugh. There’s been ups and downs, but in the end, I’m grateful to have the relationship that I do.

Again, I feel very fortunate for the relationships I have with my parents. I truly feel like they respect me as a person and are able to separate themselves from the “parent/child” role when I genuinely need help. I feel like there is mutual respect between us, which I’ve noticed is not something a lot of people have with their parents. Their different backgrounds have opened my eyes to two almost polar opposite ends of existence and I feel much wiser for this.

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