Unexpected visits often become the most welcome. In exactly one month, my father will be heading up to St Andrews for a short vacation before heading to London on business. At the start of the term, I never even dreamed that this would occur, and now that he is so close to calling, I am so happy.
My excitement for his impending stay spurred some late night reflections. Uncharacteristic of my age, I actually enjoy spending time with my parents. Sometimes I prefer their company to my friends, whether it be watching a period film with my mother or going for a drive in the country with my father. Though I adore my friends, these are the memories that truly resonate with me, and the ones I keep closest to my heart.
Coming to university has greatly increased my appreciation for my parents and all they do for me. Yet going beyond their support of my passions, their financial assistance, and willingness to let me roam wild, I think I am most thankful for the fact that they accept me for me. While I try my hardest to be wholeheartedly Maggie while meeting new people, my social anxieties at times take over, and either crippling shyness or off-putting eccentricity bubbles to the surface. While I have grown a lot as a person since my teenage years, I am nowhere near figuring out exactly who, or what, I am. Adding this to the task of meeting new people in a foreign country, and I begin to feel overwhelmed.
Perhaps this is the reason why I cherish spending time with my parents. Pretenses melt away and whomever I feel like being for the day is not only accepted, but loved. While I try my best to be outgoing and friendly, I am an introverted person: I like to be quiet and to think. A lot of my friends are not used to this side of me, and assume something is wrong if I am not the chipper and smiling Maggie they befriended. Yet around my parents, they simply exist in the contemplative silence with me, which I find refreshing.
My parents also love me for my unusual side, which I am so incredibly thankful for. After almost two decades of people consistently bullying me and being cruel to me for my fanciful nature, it is nice to be reminded that my quirks are a crucial part of who I am, and to never suppress them. My mother and father indulge my belief in magic, listen to my outlandish stories, and encourage me to find joy in the simplest of things. While one may think that these nudges of approval are not monumental, they mean so much to me, since I sometimes question if I am in fact wrong for being my odd little self.
So I eagerly await my fellow Hobbit’s arrival into the Shire, for the adventures we will embark on will be splendid. It will be refreshing to dismantle a few of my barriers and allow myself to be truly uninhibited, simply with my father’s encouraging presence. I do not doubt that I will look back on his wee visit, which we are planning with culinary conquests, pub-going, and frolicking in the magnificent scenery, with the warmest regard.
Originally written 19 March 2013