Between sliding down dirt hills naked and getting my bare butt covered with ant bites as a five year old, and then driving my â€˜95 Taurus through the garage door as a 16-year-old, Iâ€™m sure there have been times when my poor mother seriously considered selling me to a human trafficker.
I blame it all on that one time when my parents thought it would be funny to allow my infant brain to bounce down an entire flight of stairs, un-supervised and in a walker. Or possibly even, when my mother allowed me to go careening down a terrifyingly steep hill when I was given a tricycle for my third birthday â€“â€“ nothing says strange and socially awkward young adult like smacking into pavement with your three year old temporal lobe.
Iâ€™ve put my family through a lot of grief over the years but with all the time Iâ€™ve spent abroad/ living in a hippie commune, also known as a rafting company in the Smoky Mountains; we havenâ€™t had a whole lot of bonding time. But thereâ€™s nothing like Parentsâ€™ Weekend to remedy that time apart, right?
Parentsâ€™ Weekend usually begins with a series of annoying questions:
â€œWhy do you insist on dying your hair that terrible shade of ginger?â€
â€œWhy do you keep feeding all these homeless cats?â€
â€œWho is that strange boy in your bed?â€
But itâ€™s an inevitable and necessary weekend of bonding with the parental units. After all, their hot nasty gag-ball sex (yes, picture it) and loving care/criticisms have made you the stunning individual you are today, for better or worse.
And just think: If it all gets to be too much for you to handle, just take everyone on a pleasant family hike and position your mother in the back of the herd. Mountain lions always attack from the rear.
In all honesty though, this past family weekend at good ole CSU made me realize how lucky I got in the whole embryo department. My parents are pretty interesting people.
My father was the type of man who got involved in a high-speed chase with a highway patrolman and then managed to convince him that he was just a part of a training program designed to periodically test their skills.
When he was growing up, he dangled my uncle over the side of a lighthouse by his ankles and frequently tried to flush my aunt down the toilet.
He was also the type of man who found it amusing to burn off the entirety of my dollâ€™s arm in an effort to teach me not to touch the grill. That explains a lot, right?
And although my father died when I was in high school, I daily embrace both his â€œStar Trekâ€ obsession and his strange, dark sense of humor â€“â€“ which makes jokes about my mother getting devoured by a mountain lion immensely enjoyable.
My mother, on the other hand, provides a completely different form of entertainment. The first time we visited Fort Collins, she terrified a bunch of tourists by honking her horn incessantly and then fell out of the car and rolled around on the curb giggling for a good five minutes.
As a child, I can still clearly remember her sitting down to rock me to sleep and completely missing the chair and dumping me on the floor.
And then there was that time she decided to take me horseback riding and then proceeded to scream until the horse took off at a gallop with my six-year-old self, clinging on for dear life. And while there are times I marvel at the fact that I am still alive, she is constantly teaching me to embrace life and laugh at myself.
Like any mother-daughter duo, weâ€™ve had our fights. Which is generally just my mom yelling:
â€œMorgan! Stop buying animals at PetSmart and then bringing them home, claiming you found them in a dumpster!â€
Or, â€œMorgan! When youâ€™re helping with the York County Correctional Facility worship service, you canâ€™t give your number out to convicts!â€
But in the end, there is absolutely nobody in the world I would rather have by my side at a Barry Manilow concert or backpacking through the Czech Republic.
She supported me when I decided to pick my life up and move it across the world, just like she supported me through that awkward â€œPeter Panâ€ obsession. Sheâ€™s my rock and my support and I would be totally lost without her.
So no matter how embarrassing you think your parents are (try having a father that puts on a mask of a fat bald man and tries to chase you around whenever a friend comes over), embrace their support, love and tuition payments while you still have it.
Awkward times are ahead my friends. But until we meet againâ€¦Cheers!
Morgan Mayo is a junior natural resources major. Her column appears Wednesdays in the Collegian. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.