I've been thinking about the last eighteen years or so, and how both of my parents have played a rather pivotal role in my growing into adulthood. It didn't strike me until now, how much they've really been there since the beginning. When I was a newborn in the NICU, they were either at the hospital every single day or called the hospital every chance they could when they weren't. As I got older, they helped me navigate the physical tasks that kids often learn, such as walking, riding a bike, and eventually driving a car. But helping with all those things required a ton of patience because I frequently got frustrated with my progress, and it took me awhile to get the hang of it. Throughout the years, they've been more patient with me then I probably deserve.
It makes me sad when I hear kids say that their Mom is a bitch or how much they hate their parents altogether; I can't say that I've always gotten along with mine, or that we haven't butted heads over things, but I would never hate them for it. In the heat of the moment, I do get pissed off about little things like my Dad telling me when to go to bed, or my mom lecturing me about responsibility. But when all is said and done, they just want to see me happy, healthy, and successful.
And despite not being raised in a sheltered environment or with any strong religious background, I can say that I'm proud of the way they raised me; they always stressed the importance of having confidence in all that you do in life, and to be the best you can be. Both my siblings and I were never told not to drink or have sex or any of that stuff, but they made sure we understood that actions do have consequences. I believe that is why I never got into any serious trouble in high school; because essentially, I was allowed to make my own decisions and I knew that I wanted to go to college. To add to that, I didn't want to disappoint them.
They've also put our needs before theirs; making sacrifices to get the best education possible and that we're healthy and have our basic needs met.
In this particular time in my life, they're support has been constant and unconditional; despite not wanting me to attend a Big Ten University in the beginning, they've realized how good it will be in regards to my major and give me the opportunity to live as an independent adult. That maybe my major won't make me the most money, but my Dad has always advised, "it's better to make little money by doing what you love, than to make a lot of make but hate it every single day."
Most importantly, they've taught me to appreciate not just my own family, but the concept of family itself. That love comes from both family and community, and how it is one of the greatest gifts that God can ever give.
And for that, I'm proud...no, humbled to be their daughter. I love you guys!