My parents celebrate their birthdays one after the other. Mama is a year younger than Tata. And they are 30 years older than me.
We find ourselves at the turn of the decade, enjoying a slow pace of summer. August is hot and sluggish. And not pretentious.
Reflecting on the gifts of my parents, I inherited my dad’s charm and smile, and pretty much I physically resemble my dad. On the other hand I inherited my mom’s values and strength.
Dad is patient, meticulous, responsible. He can solve any problem and navigate the world system with poise. He registered us for school, took us to doctors for our yearly shots, dentists, registered the car, paid taxes, utilities and he was the finance guy in the house. He cooked delicious food. Yet cooking was equally shared with mom. I learned from my dad and inherited his bureaucratic navigation skills.
On the other hand, I also inherited his tendency for sulking and stubbornness. Which I tried to overcome even as a preteen.
Mama gave me her immunity to sarcasm which Tata had plenty to dish out but learned to abstain in our family.
Mama is distracted in the matters of bureaucracy. She wasn’t good at it and never had to learn since my dad took over this area. She worked as a chemist for over three decades and was a beacon of light in her social group. Upholding her values and faith in a world that tried to push her around. And her courage in a world afraid was so inspiring to me.
I am fully aware how little outwardly structure we had growing up. Things were not imposed, but with my dad’s repetitions we were empowered to be self sufficient, self aware, take charge of our own decisions. They don’t set boundaries like I do, but they persuade my kids to rise to the challenge. They speak with hope, and trust and belief. And they don’t get discouraged like I do, for repeating myself. So together we complete each other in raising these two kids God entrusted to me. I am grateful for them, though I try to do it on my own to not burden them, I trust that letting them help is humbling but healthy for me, my kids, and even them as those offering the help.