I have the best parents in the world. You can't convince me otherwise. I know the truth! One of the most beautiful things about growing older has been getting to see my parents not just as my parents but as human beings with faults and strengths. Looking back at my childhood through parental glasses of my own and seeing how amazing it was. How hard some of it must have been. And all those moments coming together to teach me more and more. So here are just a few things that I have learned from my parents. Just the tip of the iceburg but worth sharing. (And yes, Mom & Dad I know this officially puts me in the position of Best Kid Ever, as if there was ever any contest--sorry brothers).
1. That I laugh exactly like my Mom | Seriously! You see that nose wrinkle right there? That's exactly what I do. And I'm glad. It's an unselfconscious laugh full of love and joy.
2. Don't take yourself too seriously | Life is full of serious moments--loss, grief, struggle, and even mistakes. So don't sweat the times in between. Be silly, be free, play, dance, and enjoy.
3. Dance through the good times and the bad | In the mornings before school there was a window of time where my brothers left for middle and high school and I had about 30 minutes before I needed to catch the bus for elementary school. Friday mornings when my Dad had off work he would put on a record and the two of us would dance together. I'd usually step on his feet and he'd twirl me around. I love those moments. He taught me that he always had time for me. He taught me that no matter what was going on in my day we could dance through it.
4. What determination Looks Like | My father is a Pastor and so his job has never been a 9-5. There were a few Christmas' he had to leave because there had been a death and he needed to be with the family. But it wasn't just because it was his job it was always clear that he was (and is) passionate about helping others. My mother passionately stayed home with three kids because she felt it was important. After we grew up she then jumped back into a career. The key to their determination however is not just that they worked hard and made sacrifices but that they made it clear that life was a balance. And while it may not always be completely balanced, it was important for them to strive to balance both work and life.
4. That true love really does exist | It exists but it's not all fairy tale romance. My parents taught me what true commitment looks like--the work that it takes--but also the amazing joy that can come from doing that work. They know that they are always changing as individuals and so their relationship will change. That takes constant checking in, reevaluation, and above all communication. They never hid their affection for each other and made sure we knew how important it was.
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