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Jul 29, 2014

What a Weekend with the Rents Taught Me About Life

A few weekends ago my parents came to visit. After staying a night in our guest bedroom, the three of us took a trip the Victoria, British Columbia. The potential upside of living at home danced in my head. How great would it be to have my mom make dinner every night after work and have a cleaning lady to scrub my toilet?!

But of course by the end of the trip I was thankful to be on my own. My parents were starting to drive me a little bit crazy. I started to think about the things they were doing that were driving me nuts, then I realized those are the very same things that I admire so much in my parents.

We never stop learning from our parents. While I am often soliciting advice from them, I now see that some of the most important things that I learn from my parents now are things I observe rather than get told. I guess it is true, actions speak louder than words.

My parents and I at Butchart Gardens, one of the many spots my mom thoroughly researched in her travel books prior to our trip.
Here are the three things that my parents did while they were visiting that drove me nuts, until I realized how much I admire these same qualities in them.

Planning Everything: Months before the trip my mom was already planning our ferry ride and stay on the island. It drove me nuts. She was asking if I would take Monday off, if Tyler wanted to come and take Monday off, what time I thought we should get back, etc. She would text me these things during the day while I was at work which drove me nuts. My response? Why are you planning this now? Let's deal with it later. In hindsight, my mom's planning is what made the trip so great. For example, the  ferry to Victoria boards in the order that you buy your tickets and we avoided a giant line in a cramped boarding area since we were first (and got great seats). Thanks mom. Maybe I should focus more on planning and avoid "day of stress".

Being Frugal: My parents have always been smart with their money. On the trip they debated whether or not it would be cheaper to pay for transportation or rent a car and pay to park. I put my ear buds in and finished my latte. But they are totally right to work through the math. I often take the easier rather than more frugal option and over the years it does add up.

Not Giving a Shit: Seriously... zero shits given.  My parents embarrassed me the whole trip. My dad wore his zip off pants (although I totally had a purple pair from Limited Too back in the day), they took goofy pictures nonstop (see below), they cracked jokes they thought were funny with the servers at the restaurants, and my mom talked the ear of of pretty much any stranger that would listen. By the end I wanted to put a paper bag over my head and go home to avoid any more embarrassment. Then I realized what I fabulous time they had being themselves, being ridiculous, and not giving a crap what anyone thought about it. I think this one comes more and more with age (compared to age 16, I care so much less about what others think than I did), but my parents proved that not caring is how you really have fun.

My dad copying the happy Buddha after dim sum in China town in Victoria.
My dad at a castle in Victoria asking me to take a picture while he was pretending to have the same face as the deer as an employee looks at us like we are totally batshit.  Batshit yes, fun... also yes.       

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