1,000 Words: Supportive Parents

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This picture is very important to me.  It’s the last photograph I have of my dad before his stroke.  This was taken at Turlock High School in June 1986 at my high school graduation.  Dad’s stroke was only a few weeks later on July 3rd. My parents supported me in everything I did.  Times were different then and the level of “parental involvement” was much lower than it is today.  They were supportive by never interfered.  They attended my speech competitions as audience members, not backstage coaches.  They watched me compete at horse shows from the rail and when I lost, they didn’t argue the decision.  They didn’t go to cheer tryouts or club meetings.  They drove me where I needed to go, let me do my thing and waited in the car until it was over.  If I got a bad grade, it was my fault.  They never requested meetings with teachers or administration, but they attended every parent conference when they were invited.

They didn’t put limits on me.   They expected responsible behavior and when I didn’t disappoint them, I was granted freedom to try and experience new things.  They allowed me fail and they allowed me to succeed; on my own.  They knew life was a series of ups and downs and better to learn about them when I was young when they could protect me.

I didn’t realize it then, but I sure appreciate it now.  Too many parents try to manipulate their children’s experiences and they completely ruin them instead.  So much of life has to be learned the hard way or it is never learned at all.  I truly thankful for the gift they gave me by letting me learn and experience on my own, with their love and support backing me up along the way.