My parents

My parents really are two extraordinary ordinary individuals. They saved my life. Both literary and metaphorically.
When I arrived in Sweden 10 months old, my arrival already delayed by 4 months for unknown reasons, I was not in good condition. Way too small for what the Swedish charts deemed sufficient for a 10 month old baby, and not even able to hold my head up, the doctor that gave me my first medical just shook his head.
My mother, who had already by then suffered a number of miscarriages and waited 4 long extra months for my arrival, I think just had enough and decided, totally uncostumary to her otherwise worrying nature, that the doctor could shake his head as much as he liked. I was going to make it. So they took me home and showered me with love, care and attention, so much that I was very soon flourishing. The pictures in our old albums have very much a 'before and after' feel, the picture of me on the first page of being the one that they sent them from Korea, a tiny little malnourished speck of a baby. The ones that follow from a few months later, showing a round robust creature with alert eyes and a wide grin. Although I nowdays constantly try to convince my mother that food isn't love, at that stage of my life, food did serve love's purpose. In one of the following doctors visits my mothers anxiety and reason for coming was that I was developing so quickly, too quickly. For me the old debate of nature vs. nurture had a clear victor in the latter.

Throughout my early childhood when I was more isolated from the other kids, my parents were my all. I spent, as far as I can remember all my moments of laughter and joy in their company. I was a somewhat troubled child. My fears and insecurities of not belonging would come out as rage attacks where I would destroy my whole room and then fall asleep crying on the floor. My parents would never scold, only cover me with a blanket and kisses, then let me be. When I finally started having friends, my parents door was always open and still to this day when those childhood friends reminisce about those years, they all remember feeling so warmly welcome in our home, so well taken care of. They invited the whole class for my birthdays, baked cakes for my teachers at the end of the school year. So warm, so loving.
Fast forward to teenage years, driven by hormones, lack of confidence and hunger for growing I was not the easiest teen to handle. I drank, committed light illegalities, had boyfriends and lived out the typical pubescent nightmare. My parents worried, my mother more than my father, she would pace the floor in front of our kitchen window wating for my late arrival during weekends, as soon as I came in she would go to bed, never scolding, never punishing. They simply never waivered in their love for me. It probably helped that I was simultaneously a straight A student, liked by all teachers and at some stage I was even the president of the student body. Pulling my personality in both directions, displaying very early to both myself and my parents that I was very stretchy. Naughty girl and Nice girl in one very confused package.

Continuing tomorrow... 


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