I do not recall the exact day I fully recognized them for who they were. However, I know I came to the realization over time. It was almost as if I was Jonas from The Giver, seeing glimpses of details that were once overlooked and unrecognizable. I began to see bits and pieces of a reality that I initially did not see before.
I saw them upset. I saw them make mistakes. I saw them stubble. I saw them succeed. I saw them learn. I saw them try. I saw them step back. I saw them submit. I saw them come to the plate. I saw them sacrifice. I saw them happy and I saw them sad. I finally saw them as who they really were…human. They were and still are simply human. They are not super humans. They are not gods. They are not my savior. They are just human.
I must admit it took me a while to realize that my parents were only human. I think it is quite normal for any child to place their parents or guardians on a pedestal of perfection. However, this perception of perfection robs individuals of being able to freely live in their imperfections. It hinders those who place them there to be able to extend grace, acceptance, and forgiveness due to the unattainable expectations that come with being “perfect”. I found that I loved my parents even more once I made peace with the fact that they are not perfect. Just like I am not perfect!
I realized that they did not stop growing (spiritually, intellectually, or professionally), dreaming, or living after they had kids. Sure, they had to make some adjustments but life still goes on. I value the continuation of my parent’s life now more than ever. As I strive to reach my goals I feel empowered to encourage them to continue to go after theirs. I plan to do my best to give them the emotional and spiritual support that they have given me throughout my life. After all we are all on this journey together getting better and better one day at a time.