“Ugh, my mom’s calling” you groan as you once again silence your phone. You think nothing of it. After you clear the annoying notification, you go back to your life and forget that that happened. This pattern is totally normal for us. We ignore the texts and we delete the voicemails. We silence the calls and we complain about the constant nagging.
It’s how we’ve dealt with our parents for the past five-ish years. Ever since we got independence. Ever since we got other friends. Ever since we got better options. And it’s not that big of a deal, really. We ignore them for as long as possible because honestly? They talk forever. They find anything to yell at you about. And you’d so much rather talk to your friends, your boyfriend, or literally anyone else, over them.
Until, of course, we need something.
Money. Food. Clothes. That spring break trip, or that emotional support when our boyfriends dump us. Whatever it is, something makes us go crawling back. Something makes us remember they exist. Something makes us need them. And it’s fine, I guess. Right now is the most selfish time of our lives. We’re figuring things out. We’re figuring ourselves out. We want to try everything, do everything, do everyone to figure out who we are. To figure out who we want to be. So we ignore what we know. We ignore the people we know. We put our families on silent so we can answer calls from the potential future.
And they get this. No matter how many times they call. No matter how many times their texts go unanswered, they understand. They really, truly get it. Things may have changed slightly, and technology might have advanced. But despite all of that, our parents understand. Because once upon a time, they did the same thing. Once upon a time, they were us. And back then, they ignored calls from their parents too.
The difference is, right now our parents are wishing they hadn’t done that. Right now? They’re starting to understand.
Because that moment when we silence our phones? We’re not thinking twice. We’re walking into a restaurant. We’re waiting for a boy to call. We’re heading to a pregame, or we’re just “not in the mood.” As we dump the phone back in our bags, or go back to Instagram stalking some guy who doesn’t care, we don’t think twice about the person on the other end of the call. Ready for something that will change your life?
That person, who just tried to contact you, loves you more than any of the people you’re spending your moments on. Even more? They’re not just your mom or your dad. They’re a person, too. Maybe they had a shitty day at work. Maybe something made them sad. Maybe they saw a commercial that reminded them of you, or maybe they just wanted to been cheered up. Maybe they just wanted to be loved.
And we’re too selfish to give a shit.
Before this sounds like a PSA from a mom, know that I don’t mean to preach. I don’t mean to scold or guilt, or any of that. Because I’m just as bad as you. But I think it would be amazing if our generation learned the lesson before it’s too late. Or at least, before we regret not learning it sooner. Because one day that will happen, as it’s happening to our parents now. One day we’ll wish that we answered more calls, and made more time. That we stopped fighting, and realize they’re just trying to help. To realize they just love us more than anything, and that they’re scared too.
The hardest thing to face is the truth. It’s easier to tell ourselves that everything is fine. That everything will keep being fine, but that’s not life. That’s not the fragile, ever-changing, quick-to-end existence that we have. The truth is, you silence the call because you think they’ll always be there. It’s fine. You’ll call them back. You’ll text them later. And usually, that’s going to be true. But one day? It won’t be. It might not be for a long time, after years of love and memories. Or it might be soon. It might be tomorrow.
I don’t know when I realized it. And I don’t exactly know why. I guess we always know this, but we have more important things to deal with, right? We have that test. We have that guy who might be “the one.” We have that deadline, and if we pick up, it will push everything back. It will mean less time for ourselves. It will mean less sleep and less productivity, because we wasted an hour listening to our parents talk about that one cousin, about their new hobby, about that person they saw at the store.
But holy shit. I am so tired of being a bitch. And I’m tired of watching other people be bitches too. These are the people who love you unconditionally. The people who will still take your calls, no matter how much time goes by. The people who will love you until they take their very last breath. Let’s learn the lesson now, so we have more time to cherish these people. Because guess what? The Instagram likes wont matter in a few years. And if that guy is really the one, he’ll want you to take time for your family. And when the day comes that you have to say goodbye to them for good, you’re going to be damn grateful for every moment you had with them. For every nice text you sent their way. For every call you picked up.
Cherish them now. Tell them you love them. Because someday you’ll wish that you would have sooner. Someday you’ll wish you would have today..
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