👵👴 Dear Mom & Dad 9: My mom pretended to want a dog when she was heartbroken

Dear friend,

It's been delightful seeing how many of you enjoyed the Dogs Are Human 🐶 deck we launched yesterday for April Fools' Day.

If you haven’t had time to check it out yet, you can learn more about here, or if you want direct access to the 40 prompts we came up, click here.

Speaking of doggos, I wanted to share a serious lesson with you all this week. It was an experience that completely changed the way I saw my parents.

1. 💔 My Mom Pretended to Want a Dog When She Was Heartbroken

Growing up, I wasn't aware of the pains of my parents.

I lived in my own world and couldn't see that my parents also had very real human struggles, just like me. They also feel lonely and need love.

Years ago, I had a wake-up call that rattled me to my core and illuminated their humanity.

For weeks, my mom kept mentioning the idea of getting a dog, which Dad and I mostly brushed aside.

She also complained about having discomfort in her chest & heart. But she seemed perfectly healthy to our doctor.

One day, as I was about to leave the house, I finally asked my mom what kind of dog she wanted and that we could seriously consider getting one.

She suddenly broke down crying. "Do you even know why I want a dog?!" she sobbed.

It all became clear as we rushed to her side. "Maybe a dog would care about me more than you two."

She was right. Dad and I had been selfish, demanding, and short-tempered at home, taking her love for granted.

She had felt so lonely by herself at home and overlooked. She was heartbroken, and it was showing up as physical pain. My mom just wanted someone to be there for her, to see her.

My dad and I had a serious talk that day; we knew that we'd messed up big time.

We took responsibility, apologized, and vowed to be better together.

I was determined never to make this mistake again.

2. 💬 Question of the Week (in 7 languages)

What do you wish I understood about you?

Simplified Chinese:
Nǐ xīwàng wǒ gèng liǎojiě nǐ nǎ yìfāngmiàn?

Traditional Chinese:
Nǐ xīwàng wǒ gèng liǎojiě nǐ nǎ yìfāngmiàn?

____ mong muốn con hiểu điều gì về bản thân ____?

¿Qué le gustaría que yo entendiera sobre usted? (Formal)
¿Qué te gustaría que yo entendiera sobre ti? (Informal)

제게 제일 이해받고 싶은 점은 뭐예요?
jehgeh jeil ihaebatgo sipeun jeomeun mwoyeyo?

Ano po ang gusto ninyong maintindihan ko tungkol sa inyo?

With love,

Joseph J. Lam
On a mission to help people connect deeply with their parents. | CEO & Co-founder of Parents Are Human (parentsarehuman.com)