I talk to my parents every single day. Sometimes it's a lengthy phone call, sometimes a quick text, sometimes a passing e-mail exchange, but always some form of contact.
If you had told high school Regan that her best friend would be her Mom, she would have raised her eyebrow, shrugged, and gone to her room to listen to her Dad's old records. (There was an entire month where I wore out my Dad's Eagles record playing Hotel California over and over and over...) My relationship with my parents was a given when I was a kid, nothing I could do to escape it, and certainly not appreciated at the time. Now, as an adult, I see my parents for the people they are. Not the rule-makers, keepers of curfew, holders of all the car keys, and obligated providers.
My Dad is funny, thoughtful, supportive, proud of my Mom, loving, and a perfect example of how to be extraordinarily strong while being sensitive. From the time we were wee girls, any time my sisters and I needed encouragement, reinforcement, or a rock to stand on, we called Dad. He taught us how men are supposed to treat the people they love, that saying "I'm sorry" doesn't mean weakness, and that we could literally do anything. He also taught us how to do things for people without throwing ourselves a parade.
My Mom is steady, sensitive, always thinking about the truth and effects of what she says before she says it. (Something I'm sorry I did not learn.) She's an amazing cook, not only because of her skill but because she puts love in those pans. She will drop anything and everything if one of us asks her to help. She is dedicated to us and helped us to learn to depend on ourselves and find strength within. She was an Army brat turned Navy wife, living a life of moving around and reestablishing identity, and she did it with the appearance of ease. She taught us utter dedication, from never staying home sick from school, to never calling out from work, and always putting our best foot forward. She is fiery, measured, and loves her kiddos. Even though they are now all over 30. She is home to all of us.
As I progress through stages of growth and development with my children, and through the phases of motherhood, my singular goal is to know my children. From understanding their cries in infancy, to knowing when quiet means trouble, I know them. I know by the look on Piper's face when she's about to do something she knows she shouldn't do. I know minutes before Liam is going to have a breakdown. I know when to discipline and when to pull them on my lap and snuggle them until they feel better. I'm not perfect by any means, but I love them. I love their silly chatter that often makes little sense but is usually hilarious.
I love their eyes, full of wonder, learning, and absolute adoration of their parents.
I know that look. I still have it myself.
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