Inquiring Minds: Getting older with your parents

Time changes just about everything. College marks an important bridge between adolescence and adulthood, where independence blossoms and relationships with parents change from what they were in simpler years.

For many students, Homecoming represents the opportunity to see parents for the first time since the summer. Where childhood would garner nervous phone calls during the separations of sleepovers and summer camps, Homecoming often lends only a hug.

Of course, some parents still feel free to express their love through kisses and tears of joy, but many are more reserved about showing affection than they were before. It causes us to wonder if we, or our parents, don’t care as much as we or they used to.

What’s happening with our relationships when the time between last corresponding with our parents is ever-increasing?

After the exhilaration and drama of the teenage years, the climax of high school graduation sends most students off with a sigh of relief from their parents. Granted, not all situations are the same, but for the majority of students, college is the step we take out of our homes, only to return when needed, when in need or when on break.

Seeing our parents becomes more sporadic and oftentimes more formal. The connection most often curtails to that of an adult relationship. This process is just as sure as aging.

We go to college to gain an education and broaden our horizons but when we go home, conversations are, for the most part, the same. What a shock it can be the first grown-up conversation with your parents when you realize you know more about a subject than they do.

The newfound wisdom of college and adulthood makes your parents’ words much more human and down-to-earth than ever before. It also has the tendency to make us bolder, more apt to question our parents and more likely to follow our own inclinations.

In the popular children’s book written by Robert Munsch, Love You Forever, a mother affectionately sings to her newborn son, “I’ll love you forever / I’ll like you for always / As long as you’re living / My baby you’ll be.” The mother still sings the same song to him throughout his life until the day when she is too old to sing and then the son sings it to her.

Hopefully we can use maturity as a chance to gain a deeper respect for our parents. Considering the years of experience they have, it’s still always worth coming to your parents in search of wisdom and sometimes, just for a hug.

Inquiring Minds is the collective opinion of the editorial staff and not necessarily representative of the entire staff. It is written by the managing editor and the editor-in-chief.

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