It’s been nearly 30 years since DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince rapped about how parents just don’t understand, and most of us no doubt go through a teen angst phase where we strove to build our identities and discover the freedom of adulthood.
But at some point, we inevitably discovered our parents’ point of view, which makes National Parents Day—the fourth Sunday in July—such an important holiday. Unlike Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, which gives us the chance to buy our parents some flowers and a neck tie, respectively, Parents Day is a fine day to acknowledge the contribution our parents have made in our lives.
Families are incredibly important to us here at Brandermill Woods. By the time seniors move into our community, most of them have lost their parents, but we often get to know their children as part of our extended community—and adult children want to make sure Mom and Dad are well taken care of in retirement and are able to enjoy their golden years.
To celebrate this special occasion, here are the top 5 reasons we owe our parents a tremendous thank you:
- There isn’t an instruction manual. As children, most of us no doubt believed our parents had some secret knowledge—and parents no doubt agree it would be so great to have a handy source book for that knowledge. Instead, parenthood is one long journey of adapting, compromising and, yes, good old-fashioned bluffing as they navigate a world that is both challenging and changing.
- Parents have big shoes to fill. On any given day, our parents may have to serve as protectors, role models, teachers and providers. They have to show little kids the ropes of life and send young adults into the world. And although kids may not know it, parents are often building the plane while flying it.
- They help shape character with experiences, memories and adventures. Whether they are taking their children to China or to Chinatown, parents open the eyes of their children to the world around them. No adult can look back on their childhood without recollecting at least one experience that changed their lives, thanks to their parents.
- They have to balance nurture versus freedom. There may not be a manual, but parents are hard-wired with an instinct to protect their children, to nurture them and keep them safe. But because the world demands independent thinking, parents also have to turn that instinct off and know when to let their kids fly from the nest.
- A parents’ job never ends. Friends may come and go, but your children will always be your children. Whether the kids are in preschool or college or middle age, a parent still feels love and responsibility. We know this from hearing seniors in our community talk about their children, and their stories inspire us every day.
Parenting truly is a lifelong task. While the day is not as widely noted as Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, the team at Brandermill Woods would like to recognize National Parents Days and voice our gratitude to our own parents—and to all the parents who reside in our community.