Whenever I contemplate my relationship with the parentals and how it has evolved over the past thirty-something years, I always wonder if they feel shortchanged. Given the amount of time and effort they invested in me to ensure I have a good education, instilled values and morals that play a large part in formulating the person I am and how I relate to others, and always supported my interests and career/education choices, I wonder if they feel that they are not really getting enough back from me for all that.
I know parenthood doesn't quite work that way, but the parents do come from a generation who view children as somewhat of an investment, more so than what I think my peers expect generally. And while I do support them financially, I've never been a particularly affectionate child, nor do I confide or share much of my life with them - they are often kept on a "need to know" basis for most things happening. I've never brought them on a vacation, nor taken the time to interact with them beyond the usual sundry topics when we are together.
Part of the reason for that, is simply because that's pretty much how our family dynamics are - we have always been more reserved when it comes to showing care and concern. A larger part of it, however, probably stems from various incidences that occurred during my younger years, which left a streak of resentment running so deep that I still hold some level of grudge towards them. For not protecting me better, for not listening, for making me grow up way before I needed to. It all worked out well, but I guess there's a petty side of me that still can't really let go till now.
Now that we are all getting old(er), I am conscious of mortality, and the fact that at the end of the day, they did try their best, to act in my best interests. Parents are humans too, it's inevitable that they fail sometimes, or suffered lapses in judgment, but everything they do is always borne of love and a desire for my well-being. Perhaps it's time to let go of that last vestiges of wilfulness I hold, and be a better daughter to them than I have been, while I still can.
It wouldn't hurt to at least try.