5 Things I Don't Tell My Parents Often Enough

5 Things I Don't Tell My Parents Often Enough

You've given me everything that I've ever needed, thank you.

Maybe it's because I'm an only child that I have an incredible bond with my parents. Or maybe it's because of the way that I was raised. Whatever the reason might be, my parents will never understand how much I appreciate all the love and support that they have given me over the years, even on the days (or weeks) where I am moody and anything but lovable. Life is too short to leave words unspoken, so here are the things that I want them to know because I don't tell them enough.

1. Thank You For Supporting, Loving, and Giving Me Whatever I Needed

College isn't cheap, from tuition and books to rent payments and other little things, the costs continue to pile up. I know that you feel as though paying for me to get through college is your responsibility as a parent and something you have to do but it isn't. I could be like almost every other college student and struggle to make my rent payment, live off the college staple foods, and take out student loans. I'm thankful that you both have been willing and able to save me from three-square meals Ramen noodles and letting me focus on my school work rather than worry about money. I hope that one day all of the hard-work that I'm doing now will pay off so that I can repay you for all of the things that you've done for me.

2. You Make Adult-Life Look Easy

I've only been living on my own for a month now so I really haven't gotten the hang of it yet, but it is seriously hard. Between keeping the apartment clean, the cupboards stocked, the dishes washed, and cooking a meal every night while doing homework and trying to keep up with my current obsession on Netflix, I don't know how you do it. Maybe after some practice this will get easier, but I doubt it.

3. I Look Forward To Talking To You About My Day and Yours

I'm not home to see you each and everyday like I was before going away to college. This has been a huge adjustment to me and to you as well, but overall, leaving home was the best thing I could have done. We've talked about how I've become more confident in myself and independent which I'm not sure I could have gained had I stayed at home. I do enjoy the independence that I have while at school, but don't misunderstand, I still miss coming home each night, seeing you both, and hearing about you day or neighborhood gossip. It may sound crazy but seeing my phone light up with either of your names makes my day and I treasure those phone calls no matter how long they may be.

4. You've Raised Me Well

I never really saw what others did when they said, "Your just like your mother and/ or father" but now that I have had to start living on my own and taking care of myself, I can see bits and pieces of the two of you in the things that I do. I know that the person I am right now and will continue to become as I get older, will be a reflect of you both, so it is my hope that I make you proud.

5. Each Time That I Leave To Head Back to School, It Never Gets Easier

I bet you didn't know that each time I go to say goodbye, I get a lump in my throat and can feel the tears start to burn in the back of my eyes. It's kind of crazy because I know that I'll see you again soon, maybe in a few weeks or months but I still miss you both so much. I tell myself each time I leave that the next time it won't be as hard but I doubt that that will ever be true because I love you both so much.

There are so many people who aren't close to their parents or, worse yet, know them at all. It truly is a shame. I'm truly blessed to have wonderful parents who taught me the difference between right and wrong and gave me the chance to follow my dreams. Saying thank you will never be enough but, maybe, hearing the words that I don't say often enough will be a start.

Cover Image Credit: Flicker

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.


Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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We All Need An 'In Color' Conversation, While We Still Can

The best way to keep memories is to pass them down.


I love country music, especially a little older country music that tells a true story. One of my favorite songs from any genre is "In Color" by Jamey Johnson. It's one of the most relatable songs for anyone from any background. As you listen to it you feel the descriptions and the emotions Johnson is trying to get across.

Jamey Johnson - In Color YouTube

The song starts out with a grandkid asking about a picture and if it's his granddad. A simple question that can start a vast conversation and pass down memories of old times. This specific picture causes the grandfather to start speaking on the tough times in the 1930s and life on a cotton farm. For me, I can feel the same way that Johnson felt hearing the memories his grandfather passed down to him because my grandfather has told me the same memories about growing up in the south in the 1930s on a large piece of farmland.

The second verse goes into the grandfather showing a picture of him and his tail gunner Johnny McGee. He gives the information that McGee is a teacher from New Orleans and he had his back throughout the war. Though my granddad has never gone into anything that happened overseas in Korea, he will tell you stories for days about Camp Roberts in California. There's even a large picture of Camp Roberts hanging in his house. It's understandable he won't talk about what happened overseas because some Veterans will just tuck it away and it's how they handle it; however, hearing the tales about his basic training, his time on a boat headed overseas, and seeing pictures in his uniform still mean a lot to me.

My favorite story he talks about is how he was used to running the fields on a farm just outside Phenix City and was used to running in the heat, but the guys from up north(especially Chicago and New York) would drop like flies from the dry California heat.

The third and final verse describes a picture from their wedding. According to the granddad, it was a hot June that year before telling how red the rose was and how blue her eyes were. For most anyone, you will hear about your grandparents' wedding day and possibly see some pictures. My granddad to this day still talks about how blonde my grandmother was back then. It just helps bring my emotions more into the song.

The one thing Johnson does say in the song that most people feel when hearing these stories or looking at black and white pictures is "A pictures worth a thousand words, but you can't see what those shades of gray keep covered, you should have seen it in color." There's a lot of stories I've heard from either my parents or grandparents and wished I could have been there.

The music video for the song is so simple as well yet one of the best music videos I have ever seen. It starts in Black and white with Jamey Johnson sitting on a stool playing an acoustic guitar surrounded by hundreds of black and white pictures. It just brings the entire vibe of the song together. After the second chorus, the video starts to change from black and white to colorized and you see the pictures in their true colors.

The first time I had a true "In Color" conversation my step-granddad on my mom's side who was the only granddad I had known for that side of the family was declining in health. I was 9 or 10 and an in-home nurse had been talking to him about all his life experiences and told me to go in and talk to my Paw Paw about them. I learned about his father died when he was 14 by getting kicked by a mule and about his many years of service in the National Guard. At that time I never realized how major that was but as I look back those are the moments I cherish and I will pass down those memories as well as the numerous times he'd run your feet over with his electric scooter.

In eighth grade, I did a project on my dad's father and pulled out a box of old black and white pictures. These pictures ranged from him as a boy, his great grandfather, his first car, him in his service uniform, on up to him in suits on his business trips for the Columbus mills. I was older then and around the time I cherished learning more about his life and wish I knew where that box was just to have a look again.

A couple years ago around my 21st birthday, I had an "In Color" conversation with my mother about my dad looking through pictures while drinking Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill wine. It had almost been two years since my father's death and though I'd had plenty of conversations about his high school days on the football field playing for ol' Dickie Brown to stealing Mr. Gays Batmobile to getting three licks pretty often. I'd even heard these stories from different friends of his from high school and hearing different sides makes you feel more and more like you were there. As we sat there looking at pictures my mom told my wife Sarina who hadn't heard many of the stories and I knew and old stories about her life and my dad's life till 4 in the morning.

In conclusion, pictures can be passed down from generation to generation but unless you go through and talk about them then you won't pass down the story happening in the pictures. It is especially important just to sit down with a grandparent, a parent, an aunt or uncle, or an elder from your church or community to learn wisdom and about their life. I've had times I'll see an older couple or just an elder sitting alone at a restaurant and will pay for their meal(even if you can tell they have the money it's just a respect thing) or just talk to them. It can usually make their day and make them happy to share about their life with you if they don't have anyone else to. So let's keep the memories alive!

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