Before They Were Parents

I think parents are amusing. Just try to imagine, before they had us, they were exactly just like us now.

Before they were our parents, they were sons and daughters. They argued with grandpa and grandma; slammed the door in their faces; asked them for money; lied about where they have been and why they came home late. At one point, they were rebels, sought the atttention of their parents by breaking the rules. But then again, they were sons and daughters who loved their parents so dearly that it broke them to break their hearts.

Before they were our parents, they were brothers and sisters. They picked on their siblings, made them cry, took their food, and defended them from bullies. Yes, there were periods of rivalries and moments of envy, all of which they outgrew eventually upon realizing that they can have everything the world has to offer but nothing can ever beat family, not even a cruise at the Caribbean or a one night stand with that famous 80’s actress.

Before they were our parents, they were students. They cut classes, cussed the boring professor, cheated on an exam, had bestfriends, hated on the bitches, went to parties, and they would drink until they’re drunk while dancing to Madonna. They failed subjects, got reprimanded for their low grades and misbehavior. But they never gave up because they had their own hopes and dreams.

Before they were our parents, they were boyfriends and girlfriends. And just like you, they flirted, received chocolates and roses, got kissed on the lips for the first time, made out in the dark, held hands discreetly in school corridors and the office cafeteria. Our fathers would hit on all the pretty girls they meet at social gatherings and our mothers would have suitors, some uglies, some hotties.

Before they were our parents, they were two lonely strangers looking for love. And then their paths crossed. Some of them patiently waited, became lovers and got married; while some took the shortcut. They all made a choice and what’s important is they stood up for their choice.

Before they were our parents, they had a life of their own. They were sons and daughters and brothers and sisters and students and lovers. They had personal hopes and dreams; perhaps a trip around Europe or a high paying job at a reputable firm. Before they were our parents, they had a life of their own. And then they had us. We became the center of their lives, the purpose of their existence. We singlehandedly changed all life had ahead of them. The trip to Europe became a monthly trip to the pediatrician. The high paying job became an expensive need for a crib and a constant supply of formula milk.

Sometimes it’s odd to think of our parents as ‘real’ individuals. That they had lives before they had us. But they did. And just like us, it was never a walk in the park for them. They met struggles and shortcomings as well. But they had faith and courage to face all of them.

I think we should cut our parents some slack because just like us, they are not perfect. Before he was a father, he was a man who could, and did at times, act out of normal human passions, self-interest and ambition. Before she was a mother, she was a woman who enjoyed her carefree and independent life. They are not perfect but what’s important is they continue to stand up for the choices they made and will make no matter how difficult the outcome can get.

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Someday, I am going to become a child’s parent and I will make mistakes. I might miss my baby’s vaccination schedule or forget his milk bottle in the car. I might get frustrated and cry over his incessant crying and screaming. But that won’t make me a bad parent. Because I’m going to love him the best way I know and I can just like how my parents loved me.

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