Whether we like it or not, our families have been there through everything – the good, the bad, the awkward, the embarrassing, and everything in the middle.  When you’re a joyful little child that brings wonders to your parents, or a sullen teenager, you never quite reflect and appreciate the things your family does for you until you’re older and on your own – or even once you have a family of your own with whom to repeat the cycle. Here’s a list of what I appreciate more now that I’m an adult, some things that we all may take for granted.

1. How they accepted you and also the friends you have.

Being born into a family is one thing, but inviting my friends to meet them is another! Maybe you brought home friends whom your family weren’t so happy with, maybe they were a bad influence, but your family members would bear having them over for a couple of hours at a time. My parents would always meet the different types of friends I bring home after school, or if it was them carpooling to go to the Squash Court for our school’s ECA activities. My mom would always make an effort to get to know each and one of them. I remember whenever my mom picked me up from school, I’d always talk about my friends with her, so that gave my mom an idea about the kind of people I hang out with, and she was always interested to know. Now that I’m older, I really appreciate that she did that, up until today, she would still remember my old friends and also the friends I made as I got older.

2. Their willingness to help you.

Being in my mid twenties, being able to drive on my own, made me realize how my parents and older siblings used to drive me to places: to school, to a friend or cousin’s house to either play or do a school project, to trips to the movies at the mall. Did I even consider if they were busy or not to take me? With everyone else working, surely they had other plans than being there for me for the little things.

3. Dinner is always there on the table.

My mother is over 60 years old, and yet, she would always make sure there’s food on the table. She would ask what we want to eat, or when we crave something, she’ll always be willing to make it. Which is probably why mom’s cooking is sort of like comfort food for me, we grew up eating it. Eating out or cooking my own cooking just doesn’t capture the kind of essence that my mom does.

4. Hand-me-downs are actually great.

As a little girl, I used to get hand-me-downs from my older sisters. As I got older, I was more aware and actually felt embarrassed when somebody noticed that it used to be theirs. But now that I get to buy my own clothes, I realize how great it actually was to just get clothes and bags for free! And in good condition too!

5. They won’t be afraid to tell you like it is.

Sometimes people outside your family would give comments about you, but often, you’d think their opinions don’t matter. My family’s opinions and advice to me matters the most to me, whether I like it or not. At times, I don’t even agree with them, but there’s always some kind of truth behind it. They can be harsh and won’t sugar-coat anything. It shapes you and stops you from doing something you might regret later!

6. Sometimes, being around people who are just like you is all you need.

At social events or at school or at work, you have to interact with different kinds of people. Don’t get me wrong, though. It’s great. It opens up your mind and lets you realize there’s another world out there. But there comes a time when it gets tiring and you just wish to be at home and be around family, where you can just be yourself and they’d totally understand, or in this case, since we live together over 20 years, there must be a similarity in my family of feeling the same way!

7. How they paid for everything.

Remember back in the day, grocery shopping with your family, maybe you just took whatever but didn’t check the price tag? Or about going to restaurants and you would order something slightly pricey, and you didn’t even have to pay for it? Well, now that we’re older, and wiser! We know the value of money and how we had it easy back then. Adult life means you earn money, and when you earn, you need to pay!

8. Being taken care of whenever you were sick.

Growing up, I’m sure there was a time or two when you had gotten the flu, a bad cough, or a fever. Your family was there to take care of you, and made sure you ate your meds and cooked for you some chicken soup or some porridge. When you’re living on your own, or maybe you still live with your parents, sometimes you don’t want to trouble anyone, so you need to get your own home remedies, see the doctor by yourself. It’s when you realize how nice it was to have someone to take care of you when you were ill and when you were small. It’s acts as a great reminder too, to take care of your parents and elders once they’re older.

9. They’re the ones who know everything about you.

From being a preteen, going through puberty, bad and embarrassing fashion choices… having seen it all, they’ve tuned up with your habits and oddities.

10. How much they love you.

Through every argument, fights, constant bickering and on the worst parts of growing up, they’ve always loved you and if they can see you through all that and still talks to you, then you should know that they love you.