Supportive parents

What is a supportive parent? And how can supportive parents make a difference in the life of their kids? In this article, one mom shares how the love of her own parents has been a guide and model as she raises her kids. 

My parents took my elderly dog, Lucy, to the vet today. She can no longer maneuver the stairs at my home, due to extreme arthritis and hip dysplasia. Thus, they recently took her in to their own home, a one-story where she can simply walk outside, do her business, and then come back to the dining room they lovingly converted to ‘Lucy’s Room’.

You see, my parents are up for the hard stuff. In marriage. In parenthood. In life. Even at the end of life. 

They Stepped Up.

I got ‘let go’ (fired, I got fired) from my very first professional job after college, as a paralegal, despite knowing nothing about law. I figured, my husband (at the time) was in law school, I could Google my way through. I couldn’t.

Not to mention, it was a criminal defense attorney’s office. It took exactly three days for the firm to realize our ‘moral code’ was a just a little different. 

They let me go and I was devastated. I was not used to such egregious failure at that stage of life. I was also further away from home than I had ever been. My parents talked me down from the cliff. They assured me this was just a small blip in the long journey of life, and that I would land exactly where I was meant to be.

I did. I found my tribe with a bunch of sociologist graduate students at the University of Missouri for the next three years. They were weirdos. But so was I. It worked. 

They Stepped Up.

A few years later, I called my parents after a devastating doctor’s appointment, where we were supposed to hear the heartbeat of our first baby. There was no heartbeat. My (then) husband and I were met with silence, a stoic look on my beloved doctor’s face, and tears running down her cheeks as she softly said: “I’m so sorry.”

I was in shock. Shock quickly turned to a depression I thought I would never climb out of. I did. But only because I was not fighting alone. My parents were there. Once again….

They Stepped Up. 

Several years down the road, my parents helped me move. From my beautiful, beloved, two-story with a full basement, dream house. Into a much smaller home, where I would live, as a single mother, with my two precious young sons.

I was lost. Fearful. Angry. And could not, for the life of me, understand how life had turned out this way. But I wasn’t alone. I was never alone.

My loving parents continually reminded me of ‘the bright side’, I still had some ‘good years’ left! They were right, I had no idea how my life would beautifully unfold after a decision I hated, that was made on my behalf.

But God took those ashes and brought forth an astounding beauty I never could have imagined. He also provided the most loving, nurturing, prayerful, and loyal guardians in this galaxy. My parents. 

Again, They Stepped Up. 

I could mention several other life examples in which my parents dutifully picked me up when I was hurting, cheered me on when I was winning, talked me down when I was high on anger and resentment, and simply listened when I needed to vent.

With the season of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day just around the corner, I wanted to pay homage to the two people in this world that have shaped me, taught me, disciplined me, and loved me beyond measure. My Mother. My Father.

For all the seasons of life: the joyful, the sorrowful, the unexpected, the painful, the celebratory, the mundane, and the inevitable ‘this too shall pass’, these two humans are dearer to me than I could ever verbalize.

And I sincerely hope, someday, when the baton of parental performance is evaluated by my own two precious sons, they will simply say: 

Mom Stepped Up.