Dear Mom, With Love

Dear Mom, With Love

I see a strength in you that I can only aspire to obtain one day.
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Dear Mom,

When I first sat down to write this piece, I almost didn't know where to begin. I was truly unsure of whether or not I wanted to publish something so vulnerable, but decided to break through the boundaries of my comfort zone because of the many words I feel that I have left unsaid.

It has been one hell of a year, filled with outstanding peaks, trips to the depths of the valleys, and situations of all sorts. Life has taken me in new directions, leading me down fresh paths that, at one time, I would never have expected.

This “new year” has now come and passed, and I look at myself and my experiences with a different sense of clarity than I once did. I have changed, I have progressed, I have grown.

Most importantly, you must know that I could have achieved none of it without you.

It has been said that everyone needs someone. Whether one’s purpose is to provide guidance, offer advice, or simply to listen, you have told me time and time again that everyone needs someone. As much as I know in my heart that that statement holds a certain truth, I think of the moments where I have rejected it, as well as your guidance.

There have been many times where I thought I knew best and simply did what I wanted versus doing what was right. As a result, I am certain you thought that I took your words solely with a grain of salt. It's now that I would like to say that thought is far from the truth. Throughout the course of this year, I have attempted to become a better listener. I have sat down and taken time to decipher the meaning of your words.

As I have grown, I have come to realize the abundance of love behind your intentions and your will for me to prosper. Though at one time, I may not have accepted that support to the fullest extent, it has quickly become a part of my own drive. It's not only what I keep in mind when working to pursue my goals, but what motivates me to live my everyday life in the best way that I can.

As I reflect on the lifestyle changes of beginning college, starting a job, and stepping foot into a newfound independence, I think of you. I think of the tools you have provided me with to become a successful young woman. I think of the times that I have struggled, and the endless words of encouragement you have offered me.

I look back on this year with memories of the laughs we have shared, the tears we have cried, and even the simplest of conversations that I have found takeaways in. I look back because, through both thick and thin, you have been there for me. I see a strength in you that I can only aspire to obtain one day, and I am beyond grateful to have your influence in my life. I hope to make you proud as I follow in your example, because I can gladly say that I am learning from the best.

With Love,

Gina

Cover Image Credit: Gina Brennan

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I'm Not 'Spoiled,' I Just Won't Apologize For Having Great Parents

Having supportive parents is one of the best things that ever happened to me.

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When I tell people that I am the baby of my family, there is always a follow-up question asking if I am spoiled. As I was a child, perhaps the situation was a little different because I did not receive material things but instead got my way or rarely was punished. I was most likely spoiled rotten in that sense, especially by my grandparents. Fast forward to the age of 19 and I can say that my parents give me everything that I need, not necessarily everything that I want.

But I still don't think I'm spoiled.

I might legally be an adult, but my parents still provide for me. I may live at school during the semester, but my parents don't charge me rent or utilities when I am at home. My mom still does my laundry. They pay my phone bill monthly. When my mom goes grocery shopping, she doesn't have me chip in to help. She will make sure the bathroom is stocked with tampons or shampoo so I don't have to worry about it. The both of them make sure I have the sufficient needs to not be hungry, cold, or without shelter.

They do all of these things because they want what is best for me.

While they pay my student loans, I give them money to cover it as well as a little extra each month for different expenses. If we go out to eat, I do offer to pay but often get shut down and end up leaving the tip instead. I help around the house and sometimes make trips to the store for food or cleaning supplies, not asking for money to be paid back.

I have a job that gives me decent hours, but my parents understand that money for a college kid is tough.

I pay for my own luxuries such as makeup, cute clothes, even to get my hair cut. Spoiled is typically defined as "damaged by having been given everything they want." Do I want another dog? Yes. Do I have one? No. Do I want a swimming pool in my backyard? Yes. Do I have one? Again, no. That is because both my mother and father still believe in working for what you want and even their daughter doesn't get a free pass unless it's her birthday or Christmas. Do I still have everything I could ever need? Yes.

My parents do the exact same thing for my brother and sister who are older than I am.

I know if I have a problem, whether it be financial or crucial, I can turn to them for help. A lot of people my age don't have parents like I do and I am extremely grateful for them and everything that they do. Thanks, Mom and Dad.

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Thank You, Mom And Dad For Giving Me Everything You Didn’t Have

Thank you for letting me be a kid, but now it's time for me to grow up

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Growing up it was hard to see that money didn't just come out of thin air. I am very fortunate to have the parents that I do and because of that I never had to worry about the next meal on the table or not going to college.

However, different from most people I know, my family is different. Growing up my parents had nothing. And no they weren't homeless and their family was always there for them, but they did grow up relatively poor.

My mom always told me that she never wanted me to experience anything that she had to go through. She didn't want me to have 3 jobs and no social life. She didn't want me to have to wake up at five o'clock in the morning to deliver newspapers to the neighbors, she didn't want me to have that. She always used to say my job was to be a kid.

And although yes, I was very privileged growing up, and still am, I have to give all the credit to my parents for making me see where I came from. I know that my parents worked so hard to get to where they are today.

Both of my parents had the determination and motivation to get them to where they are today. And no they didn't go to some prestigious university, but they didn't need to. They were smart and people saw potential within them.

And I say thank you to you, mom and dad because you taught me how to be kind, thankful, and humble. Looking back I could see that I was spoiled and not thankful or understanding of it, but I know now.

Your little girl has now landed herself a job and leadership positions in two student organizations right here on campus. I'm learning who I am and what I want to be. Thank you for letting me be a kid, not having a worry in the world. Thank you, your little girl is finally growing up.

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