I just happened to be raised by two of the coolest people in the world. I know it’s lame and nerdy, but I think my parents are really awesome and I’m incredibly thankful for them.
Observe this ridiculous shot of my parents in their most natural state: being weird while visiting me at college.
My mom is one of the most supportive, understanding people to ever live. She is without a doubt the primary reason that a free thinking, self described hippie such as myself could grow up in the Bible belt, and go to college in an area deeply rooted in Southern decorum and tradition, and still come out of it all as wild hearted, open minded, and unique as I am. She is a better listener than I could ever be, she does not criticize others’ opinions, or belittle anyone. She has instilled in me a love of art and music and all manners of creativity. For almost 22 years she has allowed me to be exactly who I am, loved me for who that was, and expected nothing in return. She has taken care of me physically and emotionally. She is my biggest fan.
My dad is the greatest man in the world, and even now, I still think he might be superman. He has taught me the same lessons a thousand times because he is the only person persistent and patient enough to ever get through to me. He has made me incredibly ambitious. He has made me believe that I can do anything, and has made me independent enough to know that I can take care of myself. He is the reason that I believe in chasing true happiness rather than chasing a paycheck, and the reason that I aspire to live a life full of adventure. He is the person that has taught me to embrace who I am, to always be myself, and not to focus on what others think of me.He is honest, hardworking, and respectful and has taught me the importance of those qualities in my life. He is the most incredible man, and he has set my standards for a life partner higher than most.
They are both so incredible on their own, but today is a day to celebrate what they are together. Today they have been married for 27 long, winding, beautiful, incredible years. In those 27 years, there love has more than endured, it has grown ever stronger.
My entire life, I have been the kid who has had to endure parents who are madly in love. It was dreadful and embarrassing for a time, but after awhile, I have come to see that blessing for what it is. In my life, I have been privileged to witness many different pages of many different love stories, but none have taught me as much about love as that of my parents.
For years I’ve listened to people say that Nicholas Sparks novels and countless romantic comedies are simply setting women up with unrealistic standards, and I’ve always looked at my parents and known that that was wrong. My parents have the type of love that songs are written about. My parents story is Nicholas Sparks level adorable.
My parents went to the same high school, were in the same graduating class, they even knew each other, but there’s is not a story of high school sweethearts. Of course they wouldn’t be that cliche. In high school my dad was the cool guy, but was simultaneously shy and awkward. Once he and a few friends offered my mom a ride home. She agreed, hoping to sit next to him, but the guys put her with one of his friends. That was essentially the extent of their interaction in high school. They knew of each other, but without a shared class or mutual extracurricular they never got a chance to connect. Graduation came and went, and then they were living their separate lives.
Five years passed, and they both attended their first high school reunion. Both came alone, expecting nothing more than to connect with their old friends and share a few old memories. Somehow they ended up talking. As the reunion came to a close, they weren’t ready to leave each other. They went out afterward, and they’ve been dating ever since.
My parents again, looking fresh, circa ten billion years ago.
(ps- This picture actually hangs in our house, and if you look closely you can see my reflection. Whatevs.)
They are unabashedly one another’s best friend. They support each other and laugh at each other. They know when to step up, and when to let the other take the lead. They are a team in every single way. They are the most incredible model of what a marriage should be. Their love is never showy, forced, or over the top. It’s best exhibited in the tiniest of details. When asked about their plans for today, my dad simply replied that they were going out to breakfast. It’s that simple; spending the morning, not rushing around to get ready and get on with the day, but instead, slowing down to enjoy one another’s company, to really be thankful for the love that they share.
My dad still constantly showers my mom with cheesy, silly pick up lines and compliments. They’re ridiculous, and they both know that, but he means every one of them. And despite the fact that often times my mom can’t help but roll her eyes at the ridiculousness of the things he says, it is obvious that she loves each thing he says, appreciates his effort, and loves him for still saying them after all these years.
One lazy Saturday a few years ago, in the midst of doing housework, my mom came downstairs from their room with her hair and makeup done. I, in sweats with disheveled hair, couldn’t help but question her efforts to look presentable just to vacuum. And as if it were the most obvious, logical thing in the world, she simply responded that she wanted to look nice for my dad. I am certain I let out an audible sigh of disgust.
My mom randomly surprises my dad with heart shaped biscuits for breakfast and little love notes packed in his lunch. My dad never leaves for work without kissing my mom goodbye no matter how late he’s running. They randomly hold hands in public places, and absolutely embody the phrase “dance like no one is watching” because when they’re with each other no one else matters. They are comfortable around each other and compliment one another; they are two sides of one coin, two parts of one whole. Their love is real love, and their love is the reason I believe in love at all.
So raise a glass to them tonight my friends. Toast to a love that is good, real, and true, and know that the same type of love is out there waiting for you. Here’s to you Mom and Dad, you’ve made it together 27 years. I can’t wait to witness many many more.
Do you have a beautiful love story to share? Want to congratulate my adorable parents on 27 years of marriage? Let me hear what you’re thinking in the comments