Parents ARE poeple. (That’s What She Said- parents and parenting)

Growing up I thought my mother was superman
This average woman with extraordinary powers to call on
She had super strength
X-ray and heat vision
She could EVEN hear my thoughts
I witnessed her rearrange furniture in our apartment in 20 minutes flat, while cooking breakfast and talking on the phone every Saturday morning
She could shoot a glance across any room and I’d know I was gonna die when I got home
She did EVERYTHING alone and still worked 80 hours a week
It was easy to believe she was a superhero
Although, she would through me off every once in a while by forgetting the most important things
but she was a superhero trying to be normal after all.

My father was a topic we didn’t often talk about
I remembered him from my early childhood but since then
HE must have been a secret agent because there had to be something of great urgency to keep him away from me

I was 14 when found a Kokomo, Indiana phone book under my grandmothers bed
I called every single Patterson until I found the ones that belonged to me
I thought as soon as I found him
The wounds of my childhood would heal
But on the other end
I found a man just as abandoned as I had always felt
Just as mad
He was bitter and I was still his daughter searching for my father

It was not until I was 19 that I realized my parents were people
Who lived full lives before I existed
People, who made mistakes and told lies
People, who felt shame and didn’t know how to resolve it
and there I was in, the middle of two confused cowards who hadn’t spoke in years
I realized most of the things I had done up until that point were either to piss my parents off or to get some attention
I realized the apple does not fall far from the tree
And no matter who I wanted to be, I had to deal with my feeling about who I came from
to begin to design my own path

So I did
On stage, would recite poems about my parents
Their mistakes and how damaged I was as a result
My mother would sit in the crowd sometime and cringe

A million conversations later my father asks
if i plan on having children
“you know you’re 30 now and no spring chicken anymore, Do you even want to get married?”

I tell him and anyone else asking
I have no plans for either
Should I meet a person I trust the future of the world with
then yeah, maybe
But until then
Why fantasize about it
When there are dreams of greater importance to me

But I have been pregnant twice
Miscarried both and I’m grateful for the experience
I know what life growing inside of me feels like
What hormones and uncertainty create
I know about shame and lies and not being prepared for what you create
I know there is no rule book
No how to guide
I know my parents wanted to be great
I know any pain I’ve suffered cut them deeply too
The connection between parents and their own is a complicated love
One that no amount of words can explain but there is GRACE
and FORGIVENESS
There is space to attempt to understand these people
and their stories, rich with a history worth knowing
Of who your parents were when they didn’t know they would make you

I want my parents to know that I’m grateful
That everything I do is only possible because they met
Because of every mistake and victory that lead them back to each other
In that small town that made me
And no matter how long that love lasted
It is forever evident because I exist
And that’s magical and mind blowing
Like the moment you realize your parents are people

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6 thoughts on “Parents ARE poeple. (That’s What She Said- parents and parenting)

  1. Your poem made me cry because it made me realize how beautiful and powerful my mother is. I usually never comment, but this really touched my soul. I know the moment I realized my mother was human (and beautifully imperfect) was the moment that I took a step back, but never once did I go back to remember how super she could be. Thank you

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