Mom And Dad, I’ve Grown Up But I’ll Never Grow Away From You

Mom And Dad, I’ve Grown Up But I’ll Never Grow Away From You

To my loving parents, I could never repay you for all that you have sacrificed.

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亲爱的妈妈和爸爸

Dear mom and dad,

I'm 18 years old and I'm off to college now! Remember that I'm always one message, call, and one trip away. It's crazy how time flies by in a blink of an eye. Dad, seems like yesterday we were playing Rock Paper Scissors and you'd pretend to tickle me when I lost to you since I'd already be laughing before you even got to me. Mom, I remember those nights you'd come home so late from work, I'd stay up just to eat a fourth meal with you. It seems like life has pushed a fast-forward button on us. As I grew up, I spent less time in the house with you and more time outside with my friends or participating in extracurriculars. Only in my senior year have I realized how I wish I stayed home more often with you guys or went out more often to see a movie and eat delicious food with you.

From my first dance practices to temporary art classes, from flipping through gymnastics to falling on ice skates, and from listening to repetitive piano practices to my squeaky violin, thank you for spending so much money and energy sending me from pool to pool and city to city every day so I could swim my heart away and do what I love most. From the 5 a.m practices to the 12 a.m. drive home from speech and debate competitions, thank you for sacrificing so much time helping me develop into such a well-rounded individual.

I may be 5'3", but my heart and my arms are definitely bigger than anyone else's. Because of your unconditional love for me and my older brother, and your kindness and acceptance of all our surroundings, I have proudly adapted those amazing traits from you. My leadership abilities and my charm have all been passed down to me like a gene in our family pool. The hard work and dedication I have has been modeled off of parents who never stop working to do their best not only for themselves, but for Ben and I. My character has been shaped by your guidance, discipline, and an immense amount of love. I am most proud of who I am today because I have been shaped by my amazing role models, and the best of friends who are also known as you, my parents.

There were many days where I have cried and talked back. There were many days where we'd get into arguments and I would give an attitude. However, there were many more days where I have learned the utmost importance of respect and learning, I've done so much more growing to understand that everything you two do is for my happiness and best for me. I apologize for all of the times I've been so ungrateful and disrespectful towards you. Now that I'm older, I'm able to see the exhaustion through the smiling face of yours when you ask if I'd want to go out and watch a movie or ask about my well-being. Despite working long days and having personal problems, you have always placed me as your priority.

To my loving parents, I could never repay you for all that you have sacrificed. Even if I had given the entire universe for you, I still don't think it would be sufficient to the life you have given me. My gift of life from you guys isn't the only thing I am grateful for, it is the fact that I'm YOUR little girl that I'm most grateful for.

When I'm off to college, please put your hearts at ease. My main focus will be my health, education, and to further discover who I am and what I'm set out to do. I will take care of myself, I'll try to sleep at reasonable hours, and I will protect myself. Most importantly, I will work even harder so that in the future I may provide more for you.

One letter will never be enough to say how thankful I am for you and how much I love you.


No matter how far we are and no matter how old I grow, I will always be your beloved daughter.

With all the love,

小宝宝

Your little baby

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To The Grandmothers Who Made Us The Women We Are Today

Sincerely, the loving granddaughters.
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The relationship between a grandmother and her granddaughter is something so uniquely special and something to be treasured forever.

Your grandma loves you like you are her own daughter and adores you no matter what. She is the first person you run to when you have a problem with your parents and she never fails to grace you with the most comforting advice.

She may be guilty of spoiling you rotten but still makes sure to stress the importance of being thankful and kind.

Your grandma has most likely lived through every obstacle that you are experiencing now as a young adult and always knows just exactly what to say.

She grew up in another generation where things were probably much harder for young women than they are today.

She is a walking example of perseverance, strength, and grace who you aim to be like someday.

Your grandma teaches you the lessons she had to learn the hard way because she does not want you to make the same mistakes she did when she was growing up.

Her hugs never fail to warm your heart, her smile never fails to make you smile, and her laugh never fails to brighten your day.

She inspires you to be the best version of yourself that you can be.

You only hope that one day you can be the mother and grandmother she was to you.

A piece of girl’s heart will forever belong to her grandma that no one could ever replace.

She is the matriarch of your family and is the glue that holds you all together.

Grandmothers play such an important role in helping their granddaughters to grow into strong, intelligent, kind women.

She teaches you how to love and how to forgive.

Without the unconditional love of your grandma, you would not be the woman you are today.

To all of the grandmothers out there, thank you for being you.

Sincerely,

the loving granddaughters

Cover Image Credit: Carlie Konuch

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True Tales Of Growing Up In A BIG Family

Spoiler alert, I get tackled a lot.

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I was born into a fairly large family. I have upwards of twenty-something first cousins, many of who are around the same age as me. It has honestly been both a blessing and a curse to have so many people around me all the time. Some of my favorite memories come from family gatherings where all of my cousins were there. However, since most of my cousins are male, there has also been a lot of physical violence where people get hurt, even if the intentions were innocent. I have so many stories about my family, some of which I won't share here because they are a little bit inappropriate, but others are too good not to share.

The first story I want to share is from this past Easter. Most of my cousins on my Dad's side were at my Papa's house celebrating the holiday. There was so much food we could probably feed a small army. Some of the older cousins decided that we were going to play a game of whiffle ball. All of the cousins who were playing were at least sixteen and some of them were much older. Many of us had or are playing sports in High School or College so this game of whiffle ball got extremely competitive very fast. I ended up being the Umpire/pitcher because I played softball for so long. The game ended with my brothers winning and my other cousins upset that they lost, but it was still one of the memories I will cherish the most even though I definitely threw out my shoulder pitching.

I can remember playing a game of football on Thanksgiving when I was young (maybe five or six). This game, not unlike the whiffle ball game we played at Easter, got super competitive super fast to the point where even I, as a six-year-old, was being pushed and tackled to the ground by much older boys. I honestly can't remember much about that game, maybe I got hit in the head too much, but I do remember having so much fun playing with my cousins.

I've been on a cruise two times in my life, both times with my extended family. One cruise was to Mexico when I was very little. What I remember about that cruise was getting extremely sea sick and that the cleaning staff would make towel monkey on our beds. The cruise was to Alaska when I was a lot older, I think I was fifteen. Since I and my cousins were much older on that cruise, we caused a lot more trouble and were able to get away with it. Every night we would go to the pool and swim. Then, we would go to the buffet and only eat pineapples and mac and cheese. We, also, may have or may not have gone into a bar to sing karaoke. While the cruise was fun, I wouldn't have had such a great time if I wasn't with my family.

While sometimes they can be a pain, having so much family has taught me a lot about communication and playing right. Again, I only have scratched the surface here in regards to the plentiful stories I have, many of which are so much funnier. I love my family so much and I would never trade that in for the world.

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