The Thank-You Letter Mom And Dad Earned Years Ago, But Never Got

On the first day of every school year, the director of my high school, Mr. Dioli, would come up and give a speech to the entire school. By our senior year, we figured out that it was pretty much word for word the same speech every year, specifically a part about saying thank you. He said that every day you should go home and say two simple words to your parents, "thank you."

Now, as a senior feeling on top of the world, I paid little to no attention to this speech, as I was too busy focussing on getting out of there and going to college. I figured, I say thank you to my parents all the time, why should I specifically say thank you today after my last first day of high school?

However, now that it's five years later and I'm a (dare I say it) senior in college, I have fully realized that Mr. Dioli's speech was by far the most on-point speech I've ever heard. We all forget to thank our parents. We take most of what they do for granted and after you leave them, you truly realize how much you owe them.

So, now that I'm in my final year of college, I'm saying a thank you to my amazing parents who honestly deserve way more than just an article.

Dear Mom and Dad, Thank you.

Thank you for the past 21 years. For supporting me in every choice I make. For coming to every water polo and basketball game. For the early car rides to practice and the countless tournaments that took over our summers and weekends.

Thank you for dealing with me when I'm sick, and for always being willing to drop everything to make sure that Will and I are okay.

Thank you for allowing me to go to college where I want. Thank you for flying across the country to come to see me, and for allowing me to yell "Go Cocks" at the TV during every sporting event.

Thank you for being there every step of the way; for every adventure I take on and for encouraging me to continue to challenge myself.

It's because of you guys that I am the person I am today. I would not be nearly as confident, driven, or sarcastic if it wasn't for the lessons that you both have taught me.

From you two, I've learned the importance of sunscreen. I've learned that yelling at the television during sporting events is a totally normal practice. I've learned that "this could be the Christmas card" is just a way to get everyone in the picture to smile, and that even though no matter how much I complain, we will probably always do something active on Thanksgiving.

You've taught me how to be the bigger person. You've taught me that even if things do not work out in your favor, to continue to work hard because something will work out for you.

I can't thank you enough for everything that you've done for me. For all of the lessons learned, all of the trips made, tournaments watched, flights scheduled to South Carolina and phone calls made at random hours throughout the day.

I know that sometimes Will and I (but mostly Will) are huge pains to deal with, and we don't make anything easy, but we love you. I am nothing but grateful for everything that you have done for me and I can't imagine having anyone else to call mom and dad.

You guys are the best, and as much as I hate being across the country from you guys, it has made me realize how easy you guys made life for me back home, and how easy you made it for me to transition into college life and become an adult (even though I'm definitely not a real grown up yet).

Thank you again, I couldn't have done any of this without you.

Love,

Em

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