#52 Surprise your parents with a visit.

Being an only child to immigrant parents has its own unique set of intricacies.

In addition to being overly involved in every aspect of my life and their house always making my clothes reek of onion and garlic, there is an undercurrent of constant guilt I have for not spending more time with them, since, “they came to this country with only the clothes on their backs, $500 in cash, one good set of china, my grandmother’s Russian gold rings and a dream for a better life for me.”

Don’t get me wrong, I actually really enjoy my parents’ company. But life gets busy and when I see their missed calls on my phone every evening, it can get overwhelming. As such, I’ve been avoiding visiting them the last few weeks, instead spending my summer days on more pressing activities a.k.a. day drinking on patios and working on my killer tan.

Today I happened to flip through an old photo album from when I was still growing up in Europe, and was startled when I realized that my parents were younger than I currently am in the pictures. While I struggle to properly nourish myself on food that doesn’t come out of a can and not burn my condo down by leaving my curling iron on all day, my parents were brave enough to start their lives in a brand new country to give me a better chance at life. That’s pretty badass.

Right now, as I finish typing this, I’ve just summoned an Uber to whisk me off to the suburbs for the weekend, where I will surprise my parents with a two-day visit. I’m planning on driving out to the Bruce Trail with them to do some hiking during the days, and spending the nights sitting outside, drinking copious amounts of good wine (my momma don’t skimp) and learning more about their lives.

Act of Kindness: $32 (because I’m too lazy to struggle with my dog on a train)



  1. This is a special, special act of kindness as it will fill them with joy for months and months and you might have a good time too. So hard balancing a busy life and feeling obliged to do certain things even when the pressure is internally driven. Enjoy.x

    • I had a great time. My parents are hilarious and once I’m there it’s always fun – it’s just the getting out there that is hard sometimes. I am committing to seeing them more often from now on though, I know how much it means to them. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your thoughts! 🙂

  2. Have a fun time! You will not have them with you forever, so treasure the time to make memories when you can. I will be having dinner with my parents on Monday when they come to spend a few days at my sister’s house.

    • I had an awesome time! So glad I went out for the weekend. Hope you have a great time with your fam. Ps. Pretty sure I know who my thank you post will be for.

  3. Haha sometimes I feel so guilty.

    I can wander around for months without giving news to the family.

    Once my mother left me a message saying:

    “Antoine, I would like to have news from my son… If I still have a son…”

    Gosh I need to work on that.

    • I get that. I have this really morbid thought that one day I will get that phone call we all fear (or rather, try not to think about) as our parents get older, and that I will regret not getting to truly know my parents as people.

      I think you should call your mom, Antoine. *gentle nudge*

      Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  4. That is pretty badass of your folks! Have a great time learning more about their lives. (As a parent of an only child, this is super special to me – even if Bambino is only 8 right now.) <3

    • I’m glad you enjoyed! And yes – I actually got regaled with many hilarious tales today. They were quite a bit more badass than I had previously assumed.

  5. Parents of an only daughter here. One of us is an immigrant. Being far away (3,000 miles) from the munchkin is hard, but especially hard on mom. Dad always worries that we may be crowding her style (new husband, new fixer upper house, grad school, etc). He misses her just as much as mom, just tries to be stoic about it. We commend you on your efforts!! 🙂

    • I can imagine how hard that must be! I almost moved to London, England, a few years ago, but couldn’t imagine being that far – I know it would gut them.

      Hang in there; she will always be your baby and needs you in her life (even at a distance). I’ve found what has been with helpful with my parents is even shooting over sporadic texts and emails to show them that I’m thinking about them.

    • (It was amazing! But apparently we missed a key lookout point; will have to return and make sure we find it next time!)

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