Now that I am a "grown up" I have started to recognize the important things that my parents have taught me. For me, the most important thing they taught was the value of family.
This was, once again, recognized last night while having "beans" (it's family "tradition" that every Saturday we have baked beans and hot dogs at someone's home). This dinner was a little different.
First off, it was served in the home of my grandfather, although, he is in Florida for the winter (two of my siblings are "house sitting").
Secondly, Alex and Dana made the meal. This is a first for them. Of course, they are both grown, but they have never had the opportunity to make the meal for us. It was very nice to see them put their own touches on the meal and handle all the minute details.
Last, it was just us siblings and our children. As I mentioned, my grandfather is in Florida, my mother and her sisters were not able to make it. It was beautiful and strange at the same time.
As I sat down at dinner I realized that, someday, this WILL be "beans" for the family. One day my grandfather will pass, my parents will pass...and it will be up to us to continue this family tradition. And we will.
If nothing else, my parents taught us the value of family. Where else can I find people that will be 100% honest with me and love me all at the same time. Who else can I call when I am in trouble and know that, no matter what, they will be there? Where else can I find a room full of people that, sometimes, look like me, act like me and get my jokes? Where else can I find a group of people that put me first and that I put first every single day?
Sure, we all have friends that we consider part of the family (and I DO, oh yes, I DO) but that isn't completely the same.
Even with their quirks (and my goodness do they have many), I am so blessed to have a wonderful family. I will put them first for the rest of my life and I have my parents to thank for that.