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Thank You For Being You: An Open Letter to My Mom & Dad

family goofing around in front of Waldorf College sign

family goofing around in front of Waldorf College sign

Last night I sat at a desk in the local library, my computer open to a spreadsheet titled “Budget” and tears streaming down my face. The true definition of adulting.

I had spent the last two hours looking at apartments for rent, calculating my net salary vs. my gross salary (Side note: Why ‘gross’? Am I the only one that automatically thinks of moldy broccoli..?), and attempting to set up an Excel document that would add a sum of my expenses.

It had the potential of being a productive evening, but slowly (and surely) I was becoming a bat-crazy emotional weirdo. I was in a room by myself, crying at a spreadsheet…SOS.

Well, needless to say, I phoned a friend. AKA: My dad, who never fails to get me out of my bawling phase and into my confident, I-can-do-this stage. And after talking to him, I of course called my mom, the voice of understanding, to get her advice and feeling-filled response to the whole situation.

It was another night where my parents picked me up, brushed me off, and set me back on my feet. Another moment where they paused the hockey game or grabbed the Bluetooth headphones and chatted while cleaning the dishes. One of the countless times they had put me first, 500 miles away. They’re so damn selfless.

Dear Mom & Dad, thank you for being you.

  • Thank you for all the smelly diapers, Band-Aids, and mid-grocery-shopping fits you put up with when I was younger.
  • Thank you for attending all my games, my in-the-kitchen-impromptu-puppet-shows, my concerts, and my parent-teacher conferences.
  • Thank you for dropping literally everything from the project you were in the middle of, the website you were reading, the work assignment you were studying, or the dinner you were making to hear what’s going on in my world.
  • Thank you for getting up from the couch and pulling up your computer screen just to read through a document with me.
  • Thank you for answering my phone calls almost all the time. Or at least giving me a quick note, ‘Hey I’m at work.’ So I know you weren’t just ignoring me.
  • Thank you for texting me back (you’re better than a boyfriend most days!)
  • Thank you for leaving the nightlight on in the hallway…even now when I come home from college…and never making fun of me for wanting it there.
  • Thank you for all the lunches you packed when I was kid.
  • Thank you for the little love notes you’d slip into my backpack. Even though I never said anything about it then, I still remember them.
  • Thank you for teaching me how to pump gas…because, well, that was definitely necessary.
  • Thank you for patiently catching all of my crappy pitches when I first started softball.
  • Thank you for never laughing at me when I missed fly balls. (Yeah…I was pretty awful back then).
  • Thank you for throwing me fly ball after fly ball in the park until I could catch them.
  • Thank you for encouraging me to always pursue the things I was interested in.
  • Thank you for signing me up for everything under the sun: art classes, pitching lessons, karate, basketball, soccer, hockey, and choir…the list goes on!
  • Thank you for always putting me first. Even when you had more important things to do.
  • Thank you for driving me to my friends’ houses before I could. And always checking if the parents were home.
  • Thank you for listening to my crappy saxophone practices night after night, pushing me to stick with it, then giving me the freedom to quit when I hated it (and really sucked).
  • Thank you for taking me on college visits and for road-trippin’ across the Midwest with me.
  • Thank you for proof-reading my high school essays and always finding the most random, sneaky errors that I never could.
  • Thank you for subscribing to my blogs and reading them. And still catching my typos.
  • Thank you for teaching me about cars and never rolling your eyes when I couldn’t remember the whole ‘rotate every 3,000 miles’ thing.
  • Thank you for answering my questions about credit cards, payments, and bills, even when I called about them at the most random hours of the day. AKA: ten at night or smack in the middle of your work day.
  • Thank you for pushing me when I needed it and letting me run when I was passionate about something.
  • Thank you for the notes you wrote me on my high school graduation, that I have saved, still, in my ‘special things’ drawer.
  • Thank you for saving all my stupid little writing projects from elementary school. They’re fun to look back on and laugh at my stick-figure people. And to see how much I loved writing, even then.
  • Thank you for driving the six and a half hours to my college, just to watch me play softball or present my writing.
  • Thank you for listening to my rants about boys and roommates and mean people.
  • Thank you for never telling me that I had to be or act a certain way.
  • Thank you for giving me some money when I was really struggling. Even though you probably didn’t want to.
  • Thank you for teaching me to be responsible, kind, and to always write thank you notes.
  • Thank you for always giving me advice when I needed it. Even if I didn’t take it.
  • Thank you for listening when I just needed to vent.
  • Thank you for helping me pay for my study abroad trip and never letting finances get in the way of something I really wanted to do.
  • Thank you for never being too proud to cry. And for being vulnerable around me to teach me that it was okay to be honest about my feelings and okay to cry like a baby sometimes.
  • Thank you for reading to me as a kid.
  • Thank you for tucking me in bed or singing to me when I couldn’t fall asleep.
  • Thank you for your faith, and your encouragement of faith.
  • Thank you for the adventures, the vacations, the places we’ve wandered as a family and the exciting places we’ve been.
  • Thank you for telling me you love me. Because we all need reminders.
  • And thank you for being you. For being parents that have guided and strengthened me, given me wings, but let me grow and fly on my own. Even though I still really don’t have my life together, you have given me confidence to push forward and love that surrounds me. I’m so blessed. And I know I don’t say it enough, for the things on and off this list, but thank you. I love you.

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