When we were kids, if it was raining and we did not want to walk a mile to school in the rain, our mom would suggest we call our dad for a ride instead of getting out of bed to drive us. Dad lived in Oregon and we lived in California and we had not heard from Dad in years. We'd invariably mumble to each other that if one of us were a man asking her on a date, Mom would get out of bed (then right back in it) then we'd walk to school in the rain, plotting how we'd get out of the hell we were in.
When Karen's daughter graduated from high school a couple weeks ago, it was a really hot day. The graduation was in a football stadium and the audience sat on bleachers. Karen was still recovering from her neck surgery and sitting on bleachers with no back support in the hot sun for hours seems like something nobody in horrible pain and the most uncomfortable neck brace ever would want to do. It seems much more of a struggle than driving your kids to school in your bathrobe in the rain.
This is a photo Karen's step-son took of us at Emily's graduation. It's not a perfect portrait, but that does not matter. What matters is it's proof that we were there. As you can see, Karen put on a lovely dress and despite the neck brace, she braved the heat and the bleachers and she showed up for her daughter, with a huge smile on her face. She did not just suggest her daughter call a deadbeat relative in another state to attend her graduation because there were obstacles. We overcame obstacles so the kids we love would not have to walk to school in the rain.
The photo is proof that we are not our parents.