I’ve often pondered over Oscar Wilde’s words, “We start with loving our parents, then judge them and sometimes we forgive them.
But is it really possible to forgive them?
Recently, I got home a little late and was put through a confrontational session by my parents about why I don’t spend enough time with them. As their tone went from frustration to helplessness, I almost threw out the words:
“What about the precious time that you barely spent with me when I was child? When I needed you?“
I slept on the bitter fact that somewhere between them being too busy and my frustration of being alone, coupled with my teenage rebelliousness, a distance had developed between us.
Having dinner with them made me uncomfortable. If caught in a room, the air of awkwardness would be so dense, it could be sliced with a knife.
What made me even sadder was the fact that my parents had no idea about me as a person.
How do I tell my mother that paneer isn’t my favourite? How do I tell my dadda that pink isn’t my favourite colour anymore?
However, as I went out with my friends to watch Dear Zindagi, missing yet another dinner plan with my parents, I had no idea about the sort of feelings it would invoke in me. Watching Alia’s character finding peace in forgiving her parents made me think.
Was it time for me as well to forgive my parents?
Of course, I was annoyed. They could never figure out the reason for my anger or why I ran away from them.
My whole world as a child was contained easily in the circumference of two words- mom and dad! They were, however, busy with work, social engagements and something as trivial as watching television. So by the time I grew up, I almost felt like no one had the right to grant me permission for my plans or giving me advice.
At times, they didn’t like my friends and at times, it was the place I was going to. In any case, I found another reason to blame them. It was that I wasn’t able to make enough memories.
But I’ve understood a couple of things as a grown-up.
While as a 20-something, my struggle is about finding a matching pair of socks without having a nervous, breakdown, as 20-somethings, their struggle was to provide for a whole family, including me.
So, time they could spend with me was sacrificed. They were doing multiple shifts to make sure they could buy me my favourite things. Being able to provide me with toys I wanted gave them the same joy that the toy gave me. And to get away from chaos, they watched television.
The friends they didn’t like? I don’t talk to them anymore. The night-outs they denied kept my system intact. I hated their strict ways but they protected me from the big, bad world for as long as possible.
And I couldn’t be more thankful. I never understood the thing they said about having more experience and now, I do.
My parents are humans at the end of the day. Just like me. So to keep punishing them for not giving in to my childish whims and fancies is being unfair.
I need to stop looking at myself as a victim, as a have-not in the realm of love. I perceived them as perfect human beings who could do no wrong, just as every child believes their parents to be.
But now that I’m a grown up, I know that they’ve probably made just as many mistakes as I will.
So, Ma and Pa, I forgive you for all the times I’ve felt hurt because of you. The realisation that you’re just human beings with your own flaws and limitations shatters a lot of ideas in my life. But I’m only learning to accept the fact.
Now that I’ve taken a step forward, no more sleeping on bitter facts about the vast distance between us.
And on that note, let’s fix up a dinner date, shall we?
Feature Image via Intelligent Nest