My dad left this morning. I was too sleepy to get up, so I hugged and waved bye from the couch. I thanked him for coming. He waved me off, saying, "Your mom was there for the early years; I'm here for the later ones."
He left. I woke up.
It felt like a Grey's Anatomy moment. Nobody says that stuff in real life. That kind of dialogue is a Shonda Rhimes original. But there my dad and I were, speaking in profound quotes. Summing life up in neat little, heart-tugging lines.
Mom didn't come to my graduation. But to be fair, I didn't exactly invite her. I know she loves me. I know she supports me. But.... Well, it's a long story. And this post is not about that. So I told her about the graduation, only a couple of weeks ago, but I didn't invite her to it. And she congratulated me, but she didn't scold me for not inviting her.
"Your mom was there for the early years; I'm here for the later ones."
I've thought those words for a while, but hearing them aloud really made me think: It's the perfect parenting arrangement for us. My mom gave me a strong moral base and all of the fundamentals I fall back on when my values are tested. My dad helps me navigate through real life -- the tough parts that don't follow the book. Thanks to Dad, I let other people live their lives, I try not to judge, but thanks to Mom, I'm strong enough to go my own way and not follow the crowd. I am a walking contradiction, thanks to them. And I love it. And I love them both.