Our little home, my sanctuary. The bedroom walls hold the sound of my laughter, the depth of my tears. They hold my dreams, my doubts, and the entirety of who I am.
When I look at the sun spots on my mother’s face, I do not see damaged skin; I see long days spent outside on adventures.
When I see my father’s pain sneak up on him in forms of aches and strains, I do not see disabilities; I see the weight of protecting six hearts in the safe place he created for us.
When I look at my mother’s brittle nails, I do not see neglect; I see the hands of a woman who would rather spend the money on anyone but herself.
When I look at my father’s grey hairs, I do not see age; I see years, years of worrying about those he holds dearest.
I assure them, “I’m okay, you need not worry.” A parent’s job simply does not stop when they are looking up at adults that were once restless toddlers.
When I hear my mother’s laugh, I notice it’s a song that’s played all of my life; never changing its tune.
When I hear a man try to give me advice, I know it will never be as authentic and wise as the words my father speaks to me. Sometimes I wonder if classrooms are missing a professor. Sometimes I wonder if more people would benefit from his words.
When I see my mother cry, I do not see weakness; I see a woman who has been strong for too many people for just a little too long.
When I see my father treat my mother how he does, I do not see a sappy love story told over and over; I see the love story everyone is after, the one we’re all chasing.
When I see my father get protective, I do not get annoyed; I see a boy who was not protected by the ones who were supposed to do just that. I see a man who refuses to live by the examples laid out for him. I see a man who you will not cross.
When I see my mother’s blind optimism, I do not see foolishness; I see what society needs a little bit more of.
Year by year, a new wrinkle appears. I do not see time; I see a roadmap to the memories from an enchanting childhood. I see a direct history of the making of who I am.
I see my life.