In the cult classic, Coneheads, the children refer to their parents as “Parental Units.” In true Geisert fashion, I looked up the definition of parental unit in the dictionary (the Urban Dictionary, that is). The Urban Dictionary states (modified by me) that parental units are comprised of a male and a female who you may live with, but obviously could not have been created from because they are just so weird and different and don’t understand you at all. In middle school I probably would have agreed with this whole heartily, but now I see them a little differently.
I really had no choice but to insert a Geisert Conehead family photo. Sorry Morgan, no more heads were available.
Here are some updates/challenges to the “Parental Unit” definition:
1. Although Dad gets great joy out of embarrassing us (videotapes of him yelling out Morgan’s name repeatedly while on the Busch Gardens Scrambler, multiple pictures of us with face masks/sleeping/unshowered/unmakeuped) he does it out of fun and it is usually hilarious to go back and view this documentation.
2. Mom’s talking. Morgan and I have been stuck in the grocery store dozens of times while Mom is nearby making a BFF with the grocer, the fellow shopper, the other church lady, and everyone around us in line. It use to seem that this lady could NOT possibly be MY mother because I would never do such things. Hmm. Times have changed! I, very creepily, find myself conversing with people in the general 5 foot circumference of where I am standing. When did I start turning into Mom?! On the other hand, some people may just consider that a friendly demeanor. So, thank you Mother.
3. Practicality. The Geisert home is, by far, one of the most practical households in America. My parents are highly efficient. They close curtains to keep the heat in, unplug anything and everything that is not in use, they actually eat their leftovers, Dad’s home wardrobe is comprised of cut off jeans and old tshirts, blah blah blah. The list goes on and on. Mom and Dad are both highly practical. If there is a problem, you simply fix it. However, Mom and Dad are loosening up in their no-children-at-home years. They just got a new grill! Woooo! Go Mom and Dad! On a more emotional note, Mom and Dad have always been an excellent example of living below your means and living cost effectively. It is nice to know how to actually do things: get sticks out of the lawnmower on our own, budget our money, clean gutters, clip coupons, get stains out of fabric, save on the heating bill, shop sales, etc. Thank you, Parental Units.
4. Table talkers. It is just a nice feeling to come from a family where most things are talked about, usually around the dinner table. Although it can be difficult and sometimes awkward to transition through the different child-parent relationships, it is a great feeling to know that your parents are always going to be there and they will flat out talk to you. Having married into a non-talking family, it is amazing to me to see how important even simple, light conversations can be. So thanks, Madre, Padre, for always talking.
5. “Try it and if you don’t like it, quit.” Recently my father said this line and he said that this was one of his big mottos for us when we were little. If we didn’t like something, then it was ok to quit. This applied to Morgan’s quick appearance at Cross County, my basketball career, my attempt at field hockey for a day, and Morgan’s tennis game. I don’t so much remember him saying the line to us, but I do remember feeling non-pressured with activities. We were highly pressured to do well in school, but Mom and Dad couldn’t have cared any less whether we were on the debate team, soccer team, chorus, band, etc. They didn’t try to make up for what they may have chosen not to do when they were in school and that is a very nice freedom to give your child. They supported us in what we did do. Mom and Dad went to many an OM competition, band concert, church event, etc. Nicely done, parents.
6. Mom and Dad supported us all the way through school. Being married to someone who has student loans, I am starting to understand exactly how heavy the burden of loans can really be. It is daunting to look at the book of “coupons” (really? they couldn’t think of a more applicable term?!) that are to be paid and sent in every month. Education is one of the ultimate gifts.
Thank you for investing in me ❤
7. Wedding season is over. PRAISE THE LORD. Mom and Dad were great though. They let Adam and I basically design the wedding that WE wanted, not the one that they would have chosen. They let me take the reigns on everything from independently picking out my wedding dress to cake tasting to location choice. I am sure that was not easy to do, especially since they were footing the bill. Wedding planning is stressful, needless to say, but Mom did a great job taking on wedding details as I had to devote more time to student teaching. We made a good wedding team 🙂
8. It use to really baffle me why we were, what it seemed like, the only family that was not allowed to take friends on vacation with us. When we went of family vacations, it was just that: family. Mom and Dad said that their reasoning for this was that Morgan and I needed to have the time and be in the situation to be friends with one another. I’m not too sure how that worked then, but I do know now that I cherish the memories of our friendless family vacations. Good call, parents.
Hmm. Maybe it is time for me to submit this whole blog to Urban Dictionary as an optional definition for “Parental Unit.” Needless to say at this point, my parents freaking rock. I love them for more than these 8 reasons, but these 8 are a good start.