It was around 9 pm at night, and I was walking home from a long day of class and work. Daniel Caesar’s playlist on Pandora was playing in my ears with the nights breeze kissing my neck from the opening of my scarf. The night was perfect.
My boyfriend called me and we laughed and joked as I continued my walk. I stared at the stars and we talked about the constellations. Next thing I knew, I had made it home. I was greeted by my dog Caesar and a smell of burnt cookies my little brother attempted to make. Laughing, I removed my shoes, sat on the couch and watched him play a video game.
A sweet melody rang from inside of my sweater pocket and I pulled out my phone to see a text from my father. We don’t speak much, so when we do, I am always excited to hear from him. Smiling, I asked how he was, when he would be coming to visit Michigan again, and you know…the basics.
Ignoring my questions, he replied with “Are you okay?”
I sat my iPhone in my lap, stared straight ahead and felt the tears come down.
I didn’t cry because I wasn’t okay, I cried because he had actually asked me.
Some are privileged enough to have a relationship with their parents that share a tight bond, I like many others, share a unique one with my father.
We live a million miles away from one another and always have. He’s always been in my life, but has always been one call away. Not a 10 or 20 minute drive away unfortunately. Since entering adulthood, my independence grew to where my parents pretty much leave me alone and I talk to them usually when I reach out or when we see each-other. (I see my mom pretty often)
I’ve always felt like I was having a 20 sumn’ year old crisis. Adulthood for Millennials isn’t easy. We’re overworked and underpaid. We have strong personalities and sometimes have to fall on our faces to realize that we aren’t always right in the workplace. We deal with weird relationship issues, because our generation’s mindset on love is screwed. We’re always hungry, but are “woke” enough to know that McDonald’s cant be life..but we can’t afford anything else, so we eat it in tears. Life is hard.
I wrote my Daddy like 4 paragraphs of everything that I was dealing with mentally and cried while typing it via text. I watched the (typing dots) in our message for a good 2 minutes… signally his too, lengthy reply. I couldn’t believe he asked me how I was doing.
For those who get that question a lot from their parents, I am sure this is weird for you. But just imagine having the person who kept you safe from everything, no longer checking in on your well-being and how off-putting that would be for you.
Note: Psychologists refer to interaction and influence of parent socialization, as the way children learn the behaviors and skills necessary to interact in their everyday lives.
I was dealing with a confusing situation. I’m in my twenties, I live alone, I’m a woman and I never get asked by my parents, “Hey Kira, are you okay? How’s life? How is your relationship with your boyfriend? How’s your business going? Do you need anything? We love you”.
Was this happening because I was an adult or was this happening because they just don’t care? That cant be it. I know my parents love me, Right? This is what happens when you’re an adult right? I had no clue, this was new for me.
After the experience, I talked to my therapist about it. Yup, I have a therapist.
With all of these Daddy issues, I better have one.
“Tell me why I cried.” I demanded from my therapist
“You tell me what you felt like.” She said
“I felt like he cared about me.” The tears had started again
“I mean, I know he cares about me. My dad has never like abandoned me or anything, he’s just, idk maybe he doesn’t know how to do the whole parenting thing right.” I said
“You’re defending him.” She answered
“What about your mom? How is she?” She asked.
“My moms cool. I see her and I talk to her and stuff. I don’t tell her a lot about my feelings cause….(tears)….idk.” I said
“You’re afraid that she wont care either, so you just keep everything to yourself”. She answered
“Listen, you and your parent’s have created a relationship where they leave you in charge. You’re the one who calls them to see how they’re doing. You listen to their stories. You’ve seen them at their best and their worst. And you’ve always been by their side. I bet you go for hugs too. You’re the parent.”
The result: The relationship between my parents and I is established already and can only get better. I would actually have to open up and let me parents know that I need them emotionally. I’ll always be their little girl, and sometimes I need to hear them say that. If I choose not too, I cant cry when I get asked a surprising question. I hold the control, like she said. Pretty much, my parents are babies. LOL
I wrote this, because I’m sure they’re parents reading. I’m sure some of your son’s and daughter’s are successful, rich, intelligent, career oriented…..the works!
No matter how it looks on the outside, even if its all good on the inside or even how old we get, we need you more than ever as an adult as we did as children. Making you smile is still #1 on our minds. Hearing “I’m so proud of you” makes us work harder.
And asking “Are you okay” reminds us that you’ll still keep us from our fears, worries and anxieties. From our eyes, to yours, we’re still “kids” and you are our protectors.