Old enough to know what you're missing

Published 6:11 pm Monday, April 19, 2004

By Staff
Arthur McLean Editor
I've reached an interesting time in my life, as most people of my generation. We're starting to have families and sometimes struggle to give up the single life. We're working hard on charting and building our careers and save for retirement and yet we're still trying to figure out what we want to be when we grow up.
And for me, again like most of us, we're entering a time when we're seeing our parents in a new light. It's that time when you simultaneously dread and don't mind becoming more like your parents.
When you hit thirty, you've gained just enough maturity to start seeing that your parents weren't full of it after all. They were right about an awful lot of things. Of course, you also learned that they weren't right about everything.
It's a time when you realize that a lot of what you are comes from them. You understand that you're not so much smarter than your folks. That, in fact, whatever brains you may have, came right down the family tree.
You begin to understand just what you can blame genetics for and what's really just your own dumb fault.
It's the fruition of a period when you really begin to see the humanity of your parents. For the bulk of our lives, our parents hold positions that take them just outside the realm of our other human interactions. They occupied a larger part of our psyche, their authority and responsibility put them in another dimension.
They were these older, yet ageless figures who were an inextricable, complicated part of our lives. Like or not, we were stuck with each other.
But as you mature, you see the changes, both in yourself and the people you call momma and daddy (or insert your own term).
Over the past few years, I've seen the humanity of my own parents, sometimes writ through health struggles that can come to all of us as we age.
This week, another example was delivered to the front door of my psyche when my father has to receive a heart catheterization after he was experiencing shortness of breath.
The family network sprung to life, as the children kept each other updated. Luckily, it was an exploratory procedure rather than dire corrective surgery, and I was sure it was nothing too serious and nothing to get too worried over, after all, there was little I could do.
Yet, it affected me more than I thought and wanted to admit. I've seen the humanity of my parents, and thankfully, I've developed the maturity to appreciate them for who they are, as people not just as parents.
Arthur McLean is the Editor of the Atmore Advance. He may be reached by dialing 368-2123 or by email: newsroom@atmoreadvance.com

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