We grow up not realizing that our parents are more than just our parents. Mom and Dad don’t simply exist to make sure we are fed, watered, clothed and have a roof over our heads. They have hopes and dreams (many of which have been shelved to focus on their family) just like the rest of us. And even though it seems – at least when we are too young to know any better – that they are super heroes, when they cut, they do in fact bleed.

You know that dream you have of being a guitar slinger? Yeah? Well, maybe your Dad had that same dream. Maybe he had to lay his guitar down so you could pick one up. While you’re out there playing in clubs with your band on the weekends, banging out tunes on your Telecaster and acting like a rock star, your father is working a double shift at the Toyota plant so he can afford to pay for the degree that is going to actually feed you one day.

Did you know that sometimes late at night your mother sits and wonders how her life might have turned out had she not gotten pregnant? Where life would have taken her had she finished college and continued to pursue her dancing career? Not that she regrets giving it all up to raise you, but don’t think for a minute she doesn’t wish there had been a way to do both. She may be able to juggle pampering your ass, running a house and working a menial job, but that’s not all she is, or wanted to be.

We are so self-absorbed with our own dreams and needs, we take our parents for granted. (It’s inborn, so don’t feel too guilty.) But they’re not ATMs, or Taxis, or counsellors and life coaches (although they often play each of these roles at different stages of our lives) they are living, breathing humans, with feelings. Mom and Dad are not just voices on the other end of the telephone line when we want to talk about ourselves – our love lives, our fears, our hopes, etc. – they need an ear to bend now and again, too.

So what’s the point I’m trying to make here? Who knows? Maybe I’m just rambling. Maybe I like the sound of my own voice (yes, I can hear it while I type and read the words). Maybe the fact that my mother recently slipped over to the other side has me thinking about deeper things. Or maybe I’m just feeling a little self-righteous. At any rate, tell your parents how much you love them, and be grateful for everything they did for you, because they likely did the best with what they had.