This past Thanksgiving I felt extra thankful for my parents and my husband’s parents. If they didn’t have us, then we wouldn’t have met and we wouldn’t have the beautiful family we do!
When we had our first daughter we were so young. In fact, I was nineteen and my husband was twenty-two.
The support and acts of service our parents gave us when they found out we were having a baby, from the very beginning has been invaluable.
Growing up with an Asian mother who articulated her love through acts of service was hard for me to understand, because the way I receive love is through words of affirmation. Some days I just wanted to hear something nice. You know, an “I’m proud of you” or something.
I even remember wondering if my husbands parents cared for me when I was younger. The language barrier made me feel at times like there was a disconnect and I would do the comparison thing. The “I wish I had in-laws and a mother I could communicate with like my Caucasian friends”.
Rather than feeling grateful for all the ways in which they did try to communicate their love to me ( like bringing me endless amounts of food after having babies and so much more) I was blind to it.
I was too busy wanting something else.
When I look at the photo above, I can’t even believe I thought that way.
Even putting that into words makes me feel ashamed.
From left to right, I see four humans (who aren’t perfect) but have done their best to raise their children.
The sacrifices they have made, the selfless acts of service they continue to make, and the unconditional love they show their children (and grandchildren) is something I will be forever grateful for.
I always tell my girls they’re going to have a hard time finding a husband like their dad. He’s just that perfect to us. But you know what? His parents did that! They raised him.
And I don’t know if I’m as perfect in my child’s eyes as their dad is, but if I am, then I have my parents to thank for that too.
Parenting is complex. We all just want the best for our children. We screw up from time to time, we also worry if our screw-ups, are in fact, screwing our kids up!
And we’re hard on ourselves.
So hard on ourselves.
And we make sacrifices.
So many sacrifices.
The thing is: no matter how much we unconditionally love our children, there will be times we disappoint them, but eventually they will (hopefully) forgive us.
And when they do, it is gratitude that will lead them there❤️