Mom and Dad Save the World

Just capped off a hectic long weekend with my parents in town. They moved out of the state almost 20 years ago and still feel guilty about “leaving me behind,” even though the decision to stay in Florida was completely my own.

It was a fun time, but one shadowed by a frightening realization — I am turning into my father. We took some video of us visiting Epcot, and Hannah got some shots of my dad and I walking side by side, and it’s pretty goddamn scary. The only thing I have missing is more gray hair and a cane. Not that my dad is a terrible thing to be turning into, but the similarities had never really hit home like that before. We even yell at traffic the same way, although my tirades tend to be a little more … colorful. Maybe I’ll mellow with age.

As for my mom, I am now convinced she is never going to stop worrying about me. I could hit the lottery and be financially secure for the rest of my life, and she’d still ask me if I needed anything. Of course, I’m grateful for it — they’ve both helped me out more times than I can remember (and maybe more times than I deserved).

They’re both in their 60s, and while my grandparents were for the most part pretty long lived and my parents will likely be around for a good while longer, it’s still a little disconcerting to see them old and gray, especially with the gray hairs starting to pop up with grim regularity on me. You tend to think of your parents as being these invincible figures who will always be there, and coming to grips with the visual evidence that they most definitely won’t isn’t always the easiest thing. Especially as a reminder of your own mortality.

I just hope I can be as good and memorable to my kids as my parents were — and still are — to me.

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