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Growing up, it can feel like your parents are sometimes the enemy. They’re there to enforce rules — telling you when to eat, how to eat, and what to eat, but also graciously making sure we always eat. When I was 11, my parents probably wouldn’t have been too bothered if I decided to run away — I was a pain, a fact they have no problem reminding me of to this day. But fortunately, I grew out of my bratty adolescence and can now say my parents are truly my best friends.

It’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment they became some of my closest confidants, but I’d be hardpressed to find anyone who has my back the way those two do. Here’s a look at how parents can ultimately become your best buds.

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1

They drop you off at college

And you revel in the idea of sweet freedom.

2

That is until you go broke

Seriously, the vending machines in your dorm should be free.

3

You keep calling whenever you need something

Because parents hold the key to all of life’s mysteries.

4

Until one day, your parents keep it real with you

And say they’d like a call that isn’t just about what you need or what’s wrong. They want to talk to you about life, “like friends do” — and at first you might think, But you’re my mom/dad.

5

But you go along with it

You start chatting with your parents about life, dreams, hopes, expectations, maybe even love interests, and to your surprise your parents are really cool.

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6

You don’t talk every day

But like friends who go awhile without seeing one another, you pick up where you left off.

7

Eventually you graduate college

By this point your parents may already know about your first heartbreak and possibly received a few drunk dials from you.

8

Chances are high you might end up back home after college

Don’t look at this as defeat, that’s just the way of the economy, but hopefully your parents can respect that you’re an adult now (and you guys are buds) and you can respect that your parent’s home is not a frat house.

9

Plus, nights spent at home are actually relaxing

Remember the days you used to be itching to go out and be with your friends. Now you and your dad have got to watch Homeland together to talk about all the ways Carrie is tripping.

10

Eventually you’ll move out

But thanks to FaceTime you can give post-show reactions to one another and it will feel like you’re right there.

11

You’ll be out on your own, but still make time for date night with your parents.

12

Let’s talk about the laughs

Now that you’re cool with your parents, looking back on all those years you spent being embarrassed of them, you now recognize you were just missing out on their totally awesome sense of humor. (Okay, some of their antics were still just straight embarrassing).

13

However, now you’ve become the embarrassing one

You have no problem busting a move in the supermarket just because they’re playing your song.

14

When it comes down to it

If you’re fortunate enough to have a friendship with your parents, you’ll see it as one of the most rewarding relationships there is. They’ll love you unconditionally, allow you to be yourself, and hopefully still make you dinner.