Growing up, most of us had a superhero we idolized: Superman, Spiderman, Green Lantern, Catwoman, Superwoman, or even the Ninja Turtles. We looked up to these superheroes because they were untouchable; they could go through hell and back, and still manage to make it out alive. As a kid, what more is there to look up to? I mean, nothing is better than a badass flying around, saving innocent people. But as we get older, we realize that not all superheroes have to wear capes.

It’s easy to get caught up in the busyness of your life, and forget about who the real superheroes are. Those people are your parents. No superhero with a cape can compare to the number of times your father made you lunch from kindergarten to high school or the number of times your mother let you cry on her shoulder over boy issues. It’s OK to have forgotten to thank your parents for any this because they don’t expect anything from you in return. They don’t expect you to shower them with gifts, or for you to tell them how great they are (even though you should). That’s because your parents have a special type of superpower, that doesn’t require them to fly or have x-ray vision. It’s the power to love you unconditionally.

When all is said and done, your parents love you. They might make decisions that you don’t agree with, but only because they are looking out for your very best interest. They want to make sure that you blossom into the person you are meant to be because they have watched you grow into the person you are now.

Today, take a moment to thank your parents for being the best kind of superhero there is. Thank them for loving you, even though you are flawed. Thank them for always being there even though there are times when you make bad decisions. Thank them for giving you 20 bucks that one time you were broke. Thank them for sending you that embarrassing, but completely necessary care package at college. Thank them for supporting you with your hobbies, no matter what they may be. Thank them for making you laugh until you cry. Thank them for grounding you that one time, or many, because hopefully, you learned from your mistake. Thank them for loving you when you went through your “I hate my parents” stage. Thank them for believing in you. Thank them for never giving up on you.

Superheroes come in all different shapes and sizes. Some wear uniforms and some wear ties. Some are black, and some are white. Some are tall, and some are short. They’re all physically different but have the same qualities. All superheroes love and save you - whether it is from someone else, a dark place, or even yourself. I hope you are lucky enough to call your parents your superheroes.