The Rock We Underappreciate

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Taken By Photographer Volodymyr Hryshchenko

A sense of family is something many of us seem to have lost over the years.

Vanessa D. (11)

Spending time with our parents, the people who love us the most is something that has become underrated. As we mature from still small, free-spirited middle schoolers, time spent with family seems to have diminished, even completely extinguished in the case of some of my friends. I believe we must make more effort to put time aside from our busy schedules and regain the connection that many of us have lost. 

Why has spending time with our parents become something we put on the backburner? I noticed that as we grow older, specifically during the transition from middle school to high school, spending time with our parents has become a “last resort” option. Spring break, once a time to enjoy a short family trip, has become a week to catch up with friends and exam preparation. 

The way many high schoolers now view their parents is embodied in the phrase, “Okay boomer,” often used to mock the baby-boomer generation for being “uptight” or “close-minded.” This phrase took off as part of the internet’s meme culture and is used by many teens to disassociate themselves from their parents’ values. 

Humans tend to underappreciate things that they have had for a long time. Like a warm bed to sleep in at night, access to clean water, or even mobile limbs, we do not appreciate these things until we are reminded of those who struggle without them. Our parents have been a part of our lives from the moment we first opened our eyes. Like the Earth, which keeps us grounded every day, we never take time to appreciate parents. 

Spending time with our parents is spending time with the people who give us immeasurable understanding and support. Whenever I come home, I feel myself relax, because consciously or subconsciously, I put up a front when I am at school. When I come home to my parents, I find myself at ease because I know they accept both my highs and lows, and I don’t have to mask my feelings as I would outside.

Our parents have known our times of struggle, our times of growth, and it is this that makes us unafraid to be who we truly are with them. We do not have to vocalize every thought with them, because our parents do not need to hear every single detail of our lives. We may feel distanced from them, “How could they possibly understand what I’m going through?” But we always seem to forget that they are the people who have protected us our whole lives.

While it seems as though parents will always be there, always be the comforting rock we can return to, they won’t be. In a few years, or maybe even in just a few months for some of us, we will be leaving for university. With the overwhelming amount of deadlines and the prospect of college applications, we seem to forget what we will be leaving behind. I have never heard “parents” in conversations discussing what we would miss most when leaving for college. When living with them, we become oblivious to the comforts they provide us. Now that we have such little time left with our parents, it is our obligation to make an effort to spend more time with them. 

Only those who have lost their parents truly seem to understand the important role they play in our lives. But it should not only be the threat of losing them that inspires us to appreciate all they have done for us. While it may still feel forced and strange, we have to remind ourselves to appreciate them. We must show our gratitude to those who have loved us most dearly, it is only right.