2017 has been an unusually beautiful year for me. What added to its grace was getting to live with my parents and granny every day for a whole year! It was indeed a long time dream come true. As a typical Bhutanese practice, after completion of my High school, I left home and my parents for college and university. Next, life happened and I got caught up making a living and chasing my own dreams. Except for a few days of vacation I took from work, I hardly got to spend time with my parents after I became an adult and this is how I missed on a lot of things.
In the one year of being with my parents, I thoroughly lived my dream and learnt why it is so important to live with them especially after you are an independent adult. As you grow older, you understand them better and appreciate better all they do for you. Of course, almost the whole thing is to the benefit of your own self, yet the tiny benefits they acquire make them so happy.
Well, I certainly enjoyed getting totally pampered at this age (obviously not having my siblings around doubled the pampering). I would wake up at 9:30 am on a Sunday with my parents waiting for me with my favorite dish cooked and special outdoor lunches followed. Another favorite moment I remember is my mum calling me out to come with a camera if she finds an unusual sky or an insect or the clouds because she knows my obsession over photography. At times it would be just a faint red light from the sky, but I used to take the picture anyway just to acknowledge her. I have also enjoyed doing yoga with my super cool dad and learned so many yoga positions. I can go on and on but let me just state the 25 most important and common reasons why we should live with our parents at least one time in our adulthood (in no order of importance):
1. The purpose is different. You live with them not just for you but for also for them. When you are younger, you don't have an alternative not to live with them since you are fully dependent on them. While, when you are an independent individual, you have a choice to rent an apartment or stay with your friends, yet you choose to live with them. The whole idea of choosing them over anything else is overwhelming.
2. Your understanding about unconditional love and care is revived. When you are an adult, you are in a better condition to truly appreciate and feel the unconditional love and care you receive from your parents every day. This makes you do better in everything.
3. You understand them lot better. You are matured enough to do so.
4. You will realize that they are the only people in the whole wide world who will not be fed up and tired of seeing your face every day without changing their feelings.
5. You will feel more grateful about how the whole thing is taken care at home and you will appreciate them more. If you get to eat good rice, organic veggies and fruits regularly, it's time to show some gratitude, trust me they put in so much of hard work and love in it.
6. You are financially independent and you will be able to buy them things they love that they won't buy for themselves.
7. You have matured talks. Your discussions will never get boring. From work talks to books to poetries, to news to policies to wars. You get to know and understand their concerns better.
8. You get to talk and discuss on future plans (both yours and theirs). You get to give and receive genuine views and advices , get to know about their dreams and get to share yours.
9. After a stressful day at work, you will have someone to nag and vice versa. Parents indeed know how to really nag better.
10. If not for anything else, I really got my parents to relax during weekends. If your parents are as hardworking as mine, you will totally get it. I ask them to relax and simply do nothing at times just like me. And they obey :) Or take them out for dinner at some good restaurant or simply go out for joy rides. Watch random movies with them or play some soothing music for them. Anything really.
11. And regardless of everything, you can still expect someone to cook your favorite dish for you. (I mean who does that these days? Not me :P) Well that's only because they are better cooks than I am. If you cook well, it's the best gift you could ever give them. Cook for your parents their favorite dish, you will feel so good.
12. The fact that you are an adult says your parents are getting old. When you are with them take care of them, take care of their diets, habits, support them emotionally, take them to hospitals, do their laundry without making faces or without being asked. Trust me, I felt really good.
13. You get to relive your childhood - if there is anyone who think of you as a baby at this age, it’s only your parents.
14. You get called by your pet name every day.
15. You get to share about your every day and listen to theirs - That's quite an exchange of ideas actually, the generation gap debate. At times I end up getting some really wise advises and at times they get to listen to my not - very wise but different views which they appreciate anyway.
16. If your parents don't have a companion at home other than themselves, be that good third wheel they need sometimes. Give them some break from each other in a healthy way. We are with them until we are big enough to take care of our own selves, and as we grow they are but left alone to themselves. Of course it is good to have them take care of each other, but at times they might want things differently, a different voice to listen to, a different pair of ears to lend an ear to, a different heart and a different mind to feel their feelings and understand them differently.
17. Be there for them in every little way possible. Do what you can do for them which they can't or won't do. Make a difference in their lives. It can be as simple as typing questions for their classes (i.e. if they are teachers like mine) or helping them out with their phones.
18. Plan your travel. This is the right time to plan travel and travel with your parents, firstly because they are not very old and they are in good health, secondly because you are independent and fit enough to contribute to the plan and also take better care of them.
19. You get to be their stylist. In any kind of occasion, they will trust your choice over theirs. I used to check and decide their clothes, shoes and bags (for mum) for every occasion when I was home. Well, they used to do that for you when you were a kid, it's time to repay :)
20. I am usually a very interesting person to people I am close to. I know I don't tell good jokes but I am somehow quite capable of making people laugh with my dry, unusual and unexpected jokes and acts. I used to make my parents laugh their tears out almost every day. Make them laugh.
21. You get an opportunity to take and show some interest in their interest. If you regret not doing something of their interest in your childhood, this is the right time to pay back. I personally hated farming and gardening as a child and always escaped it but as I grew up, things changed a bit. Not that I love it now, today I feel proud of my parent's interest, because of them we get to eat nutritious food. I personally love picking chilies, taking pictures in their paddy field and climbing up the fruit trees amongst others.
22. Do you remember plucking their grey hair as a child? I do :) Do it, it feels great. I have the fondest memories of doing that for pocket money. They hardly had any that time though. Had it been now, my pouch sure would have sworn. Picking their greys is yet another reminder of how they have aged.
23. Go shopping together :). Hold their hands while crossing the roads - remember they used to hold yours when you were a kid. I find it so cute and caring.
24. Remember your parents are the only ones who are going to ask you if you need a companion even to go to the restroom at night after a horror movie or if you have enough money to buy even a packet of salt. Ask them the same, they will laugh off but I noticed, they feel touched and really good when asked.
25. They remember the tiniest of things you ask them to buy. Whenever they tell you they need something, as simple as a pen or a tissue, note it and buy it for them. They deserve all the love and care they provide us with and even more :)