Going off to college last year made me come to a million small realizations that changed me. One of these realizations was extremely over due. That was just how much my parents do and have always done for me. Over the years, I have taken them for granted and it is about time I say thank you for some little things that are actually extremely huge. So here it goes, Mom and Dad, thank you for:
1. Being my #1 Fan.
Growing up, I never had to question whether or not one or both of my parents would be at my sporting events, banquets, award ceremonies, etc. They made making time for things that were important to my sister, my brother and me seem like it was easy, even though finding time for three kids, many events, on top of my dad's work schedule must have been far from easy. Thank you for always being there and never letting me question if you would or not.
2. Putting me before you.
My parents are two of the most selfless people I have ever met. They always put anything I needed before what they needed or wanted. Whether it was spending a little too much money on an outfit I just had to have and skipping out on the shirt they wanted or skipping something important to them for something important to them they always did it, no questions asked. Thank you for sacrificing for me.
3. Investing in my future.
Not every individual is lucky enough to have parents who chose to pay for their education. My parents decided to pay for my college education. This is something I could not be more grateful for. This is the biggest and best gift I have ever been given. Thank you for sending me off in the right direction and setting me up to follow my dreams.
4. Telling me to get a job.
I remember hearing this phrase as I got older and wanted to do more and more. I heard this mostly from my dad and for the most part half jokingly. I got my first job when I was 16, almost 17, and have worked ever since. Thank you for this. Working has made me more independent and has made me a better person. Thank you for encouraging me to do this.
5. Always being there for me.
My parents have been there for me on my best days but also on my worst. Whether I had a bad day or I just made a major accomplishment, my parents were there to support me. Thank you for this. I always knew that no matter what, you were there. Win or lose, you always had my back. Thank you.
6. Letting me come home from school.
Thank you for always welcoming me home with open arms. Although I always asked before coming home for a weekend, I knew the answer was always yes. This was not the case for all of my friends. Thank you for not just always letting me come home but for also being excited to have me home.
7. Not killing me.
I have done my fair share of stupid things growing up. Thank you for not killing me for these mistakes. Thank you for hearing me out, trying to understand and for being reasonable.
8. Forgiving me.
Like I said before, I have made a good amount of mistakes growing up. Thank you for not holding insane grudges and not getting over my mistakes.
9. Making me do my homework as a kid.
In my house there was a rule that you were not allowed to go outside and play until your homework was done. Thank you for making this rule. This rule taught me discipline and hard work. You also taught me that doing homework was not only important but also helpful. I would not be the student I am today had you not made this rule.
10. Keeping me updated.
Thank you for keeping me in touch with everything at home while I was away. You managed to make me feel as though I lived at home when I was four hours away. Thank you for making me feel this way, this was extremely important.
11. Spending time with me.
This past year was very difficult being away from home. I have always been the kid who enjoyed spending time with her parents. Mall trips with my mom and lunch dates with my dad are some of my favorite memories. Thank you for spending time with me religiously the years I was home and for making time for me the times I was home this year. This means more to me than I think you understand.
12. Showing me what true love is.
I am so blessed to have had the two of you as parents. You are unbelievable role models to Emily, Nick and me. You have shown us the definition of true love and exemplified it every single day. Thank you for this.
13. Being my heroes.
You have not only been my parents these past years, you've been my heroes. You have gone above and beyond and done incredible and unthinkable things for me and for others. You have taught me to have dignity, respect and character. Thank you for this.
14. Helping me.
No matter what I needed help with, I could always count on you. You were there to help me with homework, hockey, softball, work and anything else I could think of. Thank you for that.
15. Trusting me.
As I said a couple times before, I have made more than my fair share of mistakes in the past. Thank you for looking past those things and trusting me despite them. This means more to me than I can even put into words.
16. Disciplining me when I needed it.
Although I was upset by my phone being taken, getting grounded, or sent to my room, at the time it made me a better person. Thank you for doing this and teaching me the rules and boundaries are important.
17. Giving me life long friends.
Emily, Nick and I fight all the time but they are my best friends. I always had a shoulder to cry on, a partner in crime and a friend to play with. Thank you for that.
18. Stopping me from growing up too fast.
I can remember wanting make up, electronics, social media and clothes that were inappropriate for my age as young as fifth grade. Thank you for saying no. I was able to live my life and be a kid for as long as possible thanks to this.
19. Never letting me give up on myself or my dreams.
There were many times that I wanted to throw in the towel and call it quits. Thank you for not allowing me to do this and pushing me to get to them. I wouldn't have made it to where I am without you.