16th of May, 2022

On spring vibes and parent-child love

Lately I started to feel really grateful. I would love to think that it’s because I’m maturing, and that’s how adulthood looks like - you appreciate your surrounding after you finally found your place in the world. However, I assume that the truth is quite different. Spring is finally here! To be honest, I’m not a big fan of this part of the year. My nose gets really runny, and every small flying creature wants to invade my mouth and eyes whenever I travel on my bike through the forest. But I can’t deny, that it’s the most beautiful season! The scenery outside is just breath-taking and sometimes, during my walks, I have to pause for a moment and take a closer look at the flowering plants I have noticed. Also, there is this huge benefit called THE SUN! Winters in Poland are quite grey, and it can get depressing after a while. Oh boy, but now? Sweet, sweet vitamin D, come to daddy! The world around is such a stunning place!

During one of my meditation sessions in the middle of the forest, I asked myself - hey, actually, how does the sun inject vitamin D into my body just by shining up here? As you might not know, meditation is all about turning off your thoughts. The human mind is not a big fan of such action, so it sneaks in random thoughts which sole purpose is to distract you. Later that day I googled mentioned question, and to my surprise, it turns out that the sun is only an intermediary and the real work is done by our body!

According to National Library of Medicine, “During exposure to sunlight 7-dehydrocholesterol in the skin absorbs UV B radiation and is converted to previtamin D3 which in turn isomerizes into vitamin D3”. Good job skin, thank you for your service!

Let’s move on to the main topic, as my relationship with spring was supposed to be only a modest introduction which expanded unexpectedly.

I love my parents more than anyone else. I know that they love me back. Stoics often imagine losing their possessions, friends or relatives forever - such practice prepares a person for the worst-case scenario. And whenever I’m thinking about my parents not being here anymore, I feel devastated, and my body reacts accordingly. Glassy eyes, lump in throat, tension that I can’t even describe. I’m really grateful that my depressive episode did not end tragically. I can’t even imagine, how it feels, when your child leaves the world on his own terms. And I don’t want to.

My relationship with parents is not straightforward. We never say “I love you”, “I’m proud of you” or “I miss you”. There’s no hugging or any other interaction involving touch. We’re quite awkward with each other. But love is here, I guarantee you. We just have our own ways to show it.

Lets start with my father. His definition of love is obvious. Whenever he visits me, I know he will cook something delicious. I interpret it as “I want everything best for you, that’s why I took my time and prepared this dish. I want to spend more time with you, and I really appreciate that we sit together, and have our moment”. His another way to show love is just by talking with me. I was a really quiet kid during my adolescence, and bond with my parents was non-existent. I guess my father is trying to make up for all the years where I was in a really dark place, and we didn’t speak much. During our conversations, he raises various topics - also those, in which he tries to diminish me or simply despise my actions. But I appreciate even these talks, because what I hear is “I believe you have a potential that you are wasting. Someday, we won’t be here for you anymore, and you will have to take care of yourself and your brother. I would like you to be as prepared as possible for this”.

My mother is a very enterprising woman. She worked really hard to be where she is now, and in my childhood, I rarely had a chance to see her, because she was leaving for work when I was still sleeping, and came back when I was already in the bed, asleep. Our financial situation was always unsure. Therefore, now, when mom buys be anything - it can be clothes, sweets or even furniture - I hear “If I could, I would give you the whole world”. Mom, like dad, also signals her feelings through conversation. I can only assume that it’s their way to make sure that everything is alright on my end, and my inner demons are still under lock and key.

How can they know that I love them? To be honest, I can only guess that my actions speaks for themselves. Whenever my father comes to visit, I make sure that there is some tasty alcohol waiting for him. When we talk with my mom, I make sure to ask her about her latest adventures, experiences, or recent events in my parents’ area. If I have a question on a topic that is more or less close to them, I call them before looking for answers in Google. I am trying to introduce some intimacy into our family as well, like fist-bumping with my father whenever we met after not seeing each other for a while.

Recently, our family started to look like an... actual family? For the first time, I see us as a team. Each of us overcame his personal adversities and it’s something beautiful to see. I wish everyone to have such a great relationship with their parents. And if by any chance, there are things in this matter that can’t be fixed anymore, remember that being a loving parent is as valuable as being a loving child. Spreading love is something that can be done anywhere and with anyone.