Today's post is by Kristin Odom.
The question: Who taught me to love? The answer: My parents.
Throughout my childhood, my teenage years, and now my adulthood, I never once questioned if my parents loved me. They have never been shy about expressing their love to me, and I am so grateful for that. I watched how they loved each other and how they loved my brother and I, and have since tried to live what they taught me.
I remember realizing as a teenager that what I saw at home was very different from what many of my friends experienced at home. I learned very quickly that the loving parents I had were more the exception than the rule. They not only loved their children, but they loved each other dearly. They were the ones that always made me feel like the most popular, most beautiful girl when others might not have agreed. Yes, as a teenager, I sometimes felt like they were a bit smothering and sappy, but knew it was because they loved me. The older I got, the more I cherished what they had together. Now married, and soon to be turning 30, I find myself wanting to imitate what they have as parents and as mates.
My parents show love in very different ways, which balances out nicely. My father is the guy that still leaves my favorite candy on the kitchen counter when I go visit, and makes sure to take a day off to take me to my favorite fishing spot. I find it neat that he still wants to treat me, even if I am a grown woman with a family of my own. He takes time out of his day to make mine special and that never gets old. He now finds joy in treating my children with the same love he has shown me. We are constantly getting packages in the mail from him with an assortment of horses, which are Olivia’s current obsession. Nothing makes my heart smile more than to see my Dad make Olivia feel as loved as I have by him.
My mother is the one who gets excited when my daughter learns a new word or I find a new favorite café. She is the first person I call when Olivia learns a new skill or I need to vent about a difficult parenting day. Now as a mother, there are just some things that only she can understand. I constantly want her opinion, advice, and listening ear, and that’s because she has shown me such great love. Like everyone says, I appreciate her more and more now that I am a mother. I know that showing love as a mother means a lot of different things. Sometimes those things aren’t the most enjoyable. Diapers, meals, laundry, cleaning, middle of the night wake up calls, groceries...and the list goes on. I feel like I should tell her thank you for doing my laundry and giving me cough medicine during childhood, because I’m sure I didn’t tell her then! It’s just one of those things that make motherhood so glamorous! That, my friends, is true love.
They fill my heart in different ways, but they are equally as special.
Thirty-four years and two grandchildren later, they are still the parents and grandparents I strive to be. (Yeah, I know, that’s super cheesy..but it’s the truth).