Volume Five: Reality Check
"I hate my parents."
"Why don’t they just leave me alone?"
"I’m old enough to make decisions for myself. I’m not a baby."
"Would it kill them to let me go in this party?"
"They’re so stupid."
"I wish they’d just disappear."
Hi, today, I had a fight with my parents. It was a very small argument, really. Nothing special. But let’s face it - we’re teenagers. And as these pheromone-al, emotional hunk of meat - our emotions will tend to be more active, our brains a little less.
For ten minutes, I imagined a world where they didn’t exist.
I saw a beautiful apartment. Seven floors, a pool in the back - maybe a hot tub, if I’m not stingy with myself. Nah, of course not.
Sharing is caring, after all.
Then I see money - lots of it. Sitting on top of a beautiful leather sofa. Just piles of it can be seen towering on each other, waiting to be spent on.
But on what?
I’ve already bought everything money could possibly buy - a house, expensive clothes, beautiful cars, good food, and shiny jewelry. Hell, I even bought my so-called ‘friends’ with money.
But why do I feel that something’s missing?
A warm home.
But more importantly, the two important figures that makes such homes - ‘warm.’
A woman called ‘mom’ who tries to listen to all your petty problems while she quietly thinks about what food to prepare for tomorrow, or the money to pay for that food. The same one who tries her best to borrow cash from her coworkers to get that PS3 games you wanted so badly, you’d throw a tantrum over it. The very same one who tries to put you to school in hopes of reaching your dreams - an opportunity she was never able to have when she was a child. And there you are, skipping every single day of it.
And then you have this one called, 'dad.'
As the man of the family, he goes off early to work. He works hard there, but you don’t know that. Why not? Because whenever you see him, he is either sleeping in the couch or spending the night by himself with a beer in his hand. You call him 'alcoholic', 'useless', 'waste'.
But do you ever try to ask why? Why he looks so damn tired all the time? Because at work, he tries so hard to speak English. Yes, English.
You see, you came to America at such an early age - you quickly grabbed the language, you’ve mastered the ways, and you know how things are done.
But your dad? He came here when he was forty-three. After going around the world as a foreign worker, he decided it was time to come get his family no matter how expensive, as long as you can all be together. At work, he feels bad inside because the language barrier is just too hard for him. He can speak for a short time, but he knows - oh, he knows, that he can’t keep up with the conversation. It sounds petty, doesn’t it? But do you realize how hard it is - wanting to have a simple conversation with someone, but not being able to not because you don’t want to - but because you don’t know how to?
And who does he want to ask for help? Is it his wife - whose knowledge in English is similar to his? Or maybe his son - who just might be the right one? Of course, it would be his son! But why would this little bastard, who prefers to be never seen with his parents outside the house, help him?
And then to suddenly hear words such as, "Why are you guys so stupid?"
Who would bear?
As you’ve noticed by now, I’m dedicating this chapter to the immigrant families who immigrated in search for a better life. Sometimes, as children we forget that the lives we have now - we owe to our parents. Yes, I am one of them. I am a child of two people who want to have a better life - hence they flew out to another country. It’s been eight years now - but I never forget. My parents, no matter how stubborn they could be sometimes, have done so much for us already. The second we are born, they are lumped with the responsibility of taking care of us until we are eighteen.
But no, a lot of them still takes care of children even after forty.
Isn’t that amazing?
It’s true that we sometimes get this burning passion to be independent, to be away from them, and to just be free. But don’t worry - there’s a right time for that. Right now, try to spend all the time you can with them, because the minute they are taken away, you are left by yourself.
And that my friend, is actual independence. Don’t abuse. If you can, just be grateful.