Friday Notes #61 — Knowing Our Parents

We don’t know much about our parents as being young parents.

Friday Notes #61 — Knowing Our Parents
Photo by Pablo Hermoso on Unsplash

How much do we know about our parents? What do we know about their life when they were our age or even younger? How did they act in social events, with us as kids, with their colleagues? So many questions, so few answers. Even if I asked my older sister many times, she doesn’t remember much that I would like to know. In the article “Time ensures children never know their parents young.” the author, as a father, is looking for similar answers.

As I father myself, I was trying to recall a clear memory of how my parents were when they were young, and I was a baby. Sadly, I do not have such vivid memory. — Mere Civilian

As I’m getting older, my curiosity for my parents when they were younger grew over time. Sure, I could have asked them more questions, so they could have recounted their stories. It would have been great. But I didn’t because I was busy growing up.

When we were young kids, we didn’t get to appreciate our young parents from a distance with mature eyes. If we could, it seems to me that we would have learned so many things, not only about them as parents but also about how to be a parent. As we don’t have access to their past, it’s hard to learn lessons. I remember seeing my parents with my kids but it wasn’t the same.

How can we, as parents, ensure that our kids have better access to us once they get older, and we’re no longer walking on earth? Taking pictures and videos of ourselves in mundane situations is certainly helping a lot. We have all the tools to do so. As you might know, the best camera is the one that you’ve got with you, the smartphone. There is no excuse. Documenting our lives seems to be the only way, the modern way.

I wish I knew my parents better. This digitized clip is from a family Super8 film in the mid-fifties. I see my parents together during a marriage celebration. My father has black glasses looking at the camera, my mother is beside him. I wasn’t even born. Fascinating. I looked at this clip and many others from the same film so many times.