I'm 26 years old, and I'm not ashamed to admit... I still need my parents.
My Mom was laid off in March, and my parents have made a lot of sacrifices in their budget to re balance their lifestyle. They could choose to let this affect their generosity, and tighten their grip on all their earthly possessions... and yet they have been and continue to be so gracious to our family. They are not wealthy by any means, they've worked incredibly hard for a long time to attain this level of stability and comfort in their current lifestyle. Yet even in the face of uncertainty in our tremendously unstable economy, they are willing to pass certain luxuries they've acquired on to Tyson and I.
Recently we needed a way to get Dawson to school each day, and my car isn't big enough to take all the kids I watch. I've been driving their NICE, HUGE car for almost a month now on loan indefinitely, and they are so gracious about allowing Tyson and I to stabilize our own employment situation until we work out something that better suits our current needs (aka: an ark).
My Mom is always so great about calling and asking if she can grab me any odds or ends when she is out. This week it was a couple gallons of milk from Costco (yes, we had consumed 2 gallons in 4 days). It feels good to know that even when you are juggling your own family schedules, your parents are still looking out for your best interests.
Both of my parents are so supportive and encouraging in whatever goal or interest I happen to be in the midst of. When I started trying to loose weight, my Mom met me for several mornings before the sun was out to put in a couple miles with me before she put in her 10 hour work day herself.
My parents are not only emotionally supportive, but sometimes even financially. My Dad has been known to teasingly roll his eyes and make a comment about being a human ATM machine as he forks over a contribution for new running shoes, or a bicycle helmet, or even a dance class for Anabelle. These are all things I could live without (and without them, I would definitely have to!). But they add such quality to my life and my children's lives, and it allows me to breathe in life and enjoy all its goodness without the stresses that could be without them.
BOTH sets of grandparents are also so great about helping with our kids. My children have the most extravagant wardrobe in town, and most of it is name brand stuff. How, you ask? Because our Grandma/Grammie are thrift store and garage saleing extraordinaries, that's how!
I was just thinking the other day how Tyson and I rarely have to turn down a social invitation due to lack of childcare. We manage to stay so well connected with our friends because we have incredible grandparents on our side. I get my exercise in most weeks by pawning my kids off at least one afternoon to my Mom (Tyson is working really long hours right now). We go to bible studies, BBQs, "proms," concerts or even the occasional just the 2 of us coffee date here and there because our parents are such warm people. I know they love their grand kids, but lets be honest... its WORK, and its a sacrifice out of whatever they have planned for the day. It makes all the difference in my life.
I just signed up to run a half marathon in Phoenix this winter with my best friend and her new husband. I don't have all the details worked out for how I'm going to get away kid free for a couple days to make this happen. But if I didn't have this village of people surrounding me, encouraging me every step and buying me new running shoes and meeting me before dawn, and selflessly giving of their time and treasure to our cause, I couldn't even consider making a commitment like that so far in advance. Not to mention I'd probably still be too huge to run that far!
Thanks, Mom and Dad for all the things you've given over the years to make our lives more comfortable. I am trying to soak it all in as time goes by so that I can be sure to pay it forward to my own children in the same spirit of improving their quality of life, and supporting their individual dreams and goals while not imposing my own on them.
I love you.