On parents

By Deanna Campbell

I remember hours spent gazing at the ceiling,  sharing hopes, dreams and the things we could never tell.
Late nights filled with the sounds of growing up and falling down – all a blur.
Childhood talent competitions in the back garden. Imaginary friends that only we would ever know.

He is my strength. He was my home.

Maybe it’s because there’s just two of us, maybe it’s because we’re so alike. My brother has always been my anchor. We share the same childhood – we share memories, conversations, angry words in the darkness, muffled through closed bedroom doors.

How is it then, that things have turned out this way? When is it alright to stop blaming them for all our mistakes? I’d like to think I never have, but I know that’s not really true. Every now and then I stumble out of a situation wishing I’d handled it differently, and my first thought is – ‘I did it because it’s what they would have done. This is their fault’.

Our parents are always the easiest option.

One day,  sometime between getting my first paycheck and paying my first bill, I realised I was an adult. This came with the obligatory anxiety. My choices are my own, perhaps they’ve always been.

I hope that someday my brother will realise this too. I hope that someday he’ll see that the stony silences and empty words work both ways. That he’ll understand that everything he has achieved, all the glory and happiness, is because of everything they sacrificed. That a kind word goes a long way.

That blaming them for everything that is wrong in his life can only work for so long.

Being a parent is harder than it looks. I hope one day, perhaps when he becomes one, he’ll understand.

I hope that it won’t be too late.



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