Understanding my parents

I spent an inordinate amount of time in my twenties trying to understand my parents. Until I had children, it was a pretty futile sport.  Not quite sure why it was so important anyway but I felt that understanding my parents was a path to understanding myself. It was much easier to do once I had a child.

Over our ski vacation, I had another epiphany about my parents that made me smile - I realized:

Our parents skied behind us because they wanted to pick us up if we fell or dropped something, not  because they were slower.

Here are some other things I've understood about my parents because I'm a mom:

  1. When your child is really hurt - physically or emotionally - you feel real pain. And you'd trade places in a heartbeat. It's a hard balance to know how much to protect or help them and how much to let them struggle.
  2. Their anger when I came home after curfew was because of visceral, instinctive fear.  Fear you only appreciate when you think something might have happened to your child.
  3. Parents are worried about money and frustrated about time because children are really expensive and time consuming. Worth it, but wow - it does add up.
  4. It is frustrating to knowingly love someone more than they will ever love you.  Hopefully, we get to see our children "tortured" by the same sort of love for our grandchildren.

What have you realized about your parents because you now have children?