I believe in unconditional love. This is the continuous love I feel from my parents when I shatter a vase into thousands of pieces, when I fail reading quizzes, or even when I tell them just how much I hate them. As I grew up in a traditional suburb community, my parents took quite the verbal beating as we unofficially battled into my teenage years. I should probably stop and give my parents credit because they must have unbelievable patience not to get rid of me, even though that would have been preferred at the time. They continued to hold it together and put up with the brace-face, adolescent brat that I was.
When I was younger, I thought my parents were most definitely out to get me. No matter what I did, they turned me down, which they called “setting me straight.” Parents really do know best, but to me it felt more like a death sentence than strategic guidance.
The first time I remember telling my parents I hated them was when they first grounded me. I didn’t get grounded for anything you would expect: stealing, lying, or hitting my sister. Instead I was grounded for a whole weekend of my summer because I rode my bike, with flip-flops on.
My sister was at the park with her friends, while I jumped on the trampoline in my backyard. As the sun went down I smelled dinner on the grill and knew I would have to fetch my sister soon. Just as I had expected, while my dad turned cheeseburgers on the grill, I had to get a hold of my sister.
To my parent’s credit I knew the rule: “Sneakers must be worn while riding a bicycle no bare feet or flip-flops.” I most definitely knew all the rules since they were conveniently stuck to the garage wall on a bright piece of pink paper that was pretty hard to miss. Instead, I disregarded “The Rules of Summer” and hopped on my bike wearing purple Old Navy flip-flops to save time. The wind wisped past as I rode down the steep hill to the park. I returned triumphantly with my sister only one problem: my dad had chosen that time to go get the mail and saw me, mid-pedal, with my flip-flops. Of course, he tattled to my mom, the punisher, who took away my summer privileges, which included my late curfew of 8:30. As I stormed up the carpeted stairs, I screamed as loud as could, just to make sure they would never forget this. After explaining everything to my American Girl doll, Samantha, I slowly crept down the stairs to where everyone sat peacefully enjoying their corn-on-the-cob. This was the first of many apologies I would have to deliver.
Through all of this nothing changed, the next day my parents pretended as though nothing happened and after a few days I was back on the road, with sneakers, of course. I know that I sometimes say I hate them and that I wished they would leave me alone, but the truth is that I have an unconditional love for them, which is what they have truly taught me in return. I realized that no matter how much I say I hate them, it will pass and once again we will love each other, exactly as we did before.
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