This I Believe

Jaclyn - Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
Entered on September 5, 2007

I have a confession to make. Nothing criminal, but it may be shocking to some…

I believe that my parents are my best friends.

There. I said it. It’s down on paper. And while I cannot think of a more uncool thing for a twenty-one year old such as myself to say, I’ll take it one step further. Not only do I consider my parents my best buds, but I publicly admit that I would rather stay in on a Friday night eating popcorn and watching movies with them than spend a night out on the town with friends my own age.

Am I crazy? Maybe. Many of my friends think so. After all, they’re all searching for their fast ticket out—that dream job after college that will place them just beyond the reach of doting parents who, on any given Sunday, might show up for midmorning brunch. As for me, I’m seeking a post-graduation experience that will land me as close to home as possible, with the exception of living in my parent’s basement. I may love them to death, but even that’s pushing it. Plus, I’m sure my dad would have a heart attack just before he changed all the locks if I were to move back in.

So, like I said, maybe I am crazy, but in my opinion, I have good reason to feel the way I do. But before you start thinking I’m the product of “cool parents,” let me assure you that the complete opposite is true. My parents have always been the ones to call before a party or sleepover to make sure the host kid’s parents were home. They have stopped past relationships with boys I was sure I loved because they didn’t approve of the way I was treated (which, now I’ll admit, they were right). I have always had to leave the names, numbers, and information just short of social security numbers of everyone I’d be with whenever leaving the house. I was not allowed a cell phone until my sophomore year of college. And even now, at the age of twenty-one, I still have a curfew whenever I’m home.

But, in spite of all this, my parents also love me unconditionally. Even when they have every justifiable reason to disown me, they don’t. They stand up for me when no one else will, yet they are also the only ones honest enough to tell me to shut up or buck up. They are my mentors, my consolation, my sounding boards. And when others may laugh at me, they might, too. In fact, they laugh at me a lot, but at the end of the day, they’re still there with open arms and words of encouragement. When I fail, they remind me life goes on. When I succeed, they say “Congratulations. But don’t let it go to your head.” They’re my safe-keepers, my lifelines, and my anchors. I’ve tried, but I haven’t found a friend or boyfriend who can boast these traits. And I can’t say I’ve ever provided this support to another in return.

Theodore Reik said it best, “Romance fails us and so do friendships, but the relationship of parent and child, less noisy than all the others, remains indelible and indestructible, the strongest relationship on earth.”

So if you’re wondering where I am next Friday night, now you know; I’ll be chilling at home with my two best friends.