Hug Your Parents

Hyojin Lee ‘16, Editor-in-Chief

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In the eyes of our parents, we are always the best version of ourselves. Perhaps a little blindly, they believe that all of us will be world-class athletes, groundbreaking politicians, or cancer-curing scientists. They believe that we deserve the lead in the school play, the solo in the choir concert, or the starting position on the football team. They believe that their children are born to succeed in every endeavor – if not on the first try, then on the second or third.

Ridge parents, though, are not only believers. Many of them are the instruments of success for their children, tirelessly driving us from activity to extracurricular to hobby to interest. In some cases, they overstep, nosing beyond the boundaries set by tetchy adolescents to cluck over our personal lives. In other cases, they propel us, giving that final push that we need to overcome laziness or fear. For four years now, my own mom still checks up on me on those long nights when the homework doesn’t seem to end. Long after midnight, I can count on her to offer me tea and tangerines and to worry over my health the next morning.

Now, for the first time, the class of 2016 is leaving their greatest fans behind. At college, there will be no more folded socks appearing magically in our drawers. There won’t be any “dad jokes” at the dinner table, and there won’t be anyone to patch up our knees when we fall. We will have to fold our own laundry, make our own bad puns, and spray Neosporin onto our own wounds.

I fear that it will be more difficult than we can imagine. After all, in the eighteen or so years that it took to mold us, our parents have grown more than a few gray hairs. Every task that we identify as “grown-up” will fall upon our shoulders: filing taxes, eating healthily, folding laundry, and so on.

Yet we should remember that we aren’t losing our fans. They are still there, waiting for that phone call from their now college freshman. They look at us and see their preschoolers trying to hold down jobs and college seminars. They simply want to help. All we have to do is pick up the phone once in a while. Nowadays, the availability of Facetime, Skype, and even Facebook Messenger make it that much easier for one’s mom to remark on how much or little weight one has gained.

We should also remember that we have come far, with and without help. At some point, it becomes our burden to learn not only our own household chores, but also our own passions and initiative. Most importantly, it becomes our burden to believe in the best versions of ourselves – not our parents’. In the bigger world, after all, no one can or will do it except us.

So give your parents a hug before you go, both as a thank you and as a reminder that we’re definitely coming back. Lord knows they certainly deserve it.

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