My parents were, and continue to be, amazing parents. Thinking back on my childhood, it's difficult to put into one simple phrase what my parents did well as they raised my older siblings and me. I am overwhelmingly grateful for them and I have tried to figure out how to replicate their parenting tactics. Of course, my sassy teen and early college self may not have always acknowledged what a great job they were doing and I am sure they haven't spent the last thirty-seven years of parenthood pumping their fists in the air, shouting, "YES! We are doing this perfectly!!!"
Were my parents perfect?
Of course not. No human being is.
But did they fully commit themselves to being the best parents they could be, even when I know it was incredibly hard and challenging?
So, Mom & Dad, here are just a few things that come to mind that I will always be thankful for.
Thank you....for never missing one of my marching band performances (or ANY of my musical performances from fifth grade through twelfth grade). You had no interest in the football games, yet you were there in the sun/rain/cold/snow every time, for all four years of high school. You completely understood and supported that vital part of my high school years and your commitment meant so much to me. There was never a doubt in my mind that you two wouldn't be in the stands on a Friday night.
Thank you...for never making me feel like I was being compared to my older sister & older brother. I think that this is the one that stands out most to me. I never felt like I needed to be a phenomenal piano player like my sister or a long-distance runner like my brother. I possessed my own skills and interests and you never made me feel like it wasn't enough. Marching band, concert band, pep band, Quiz Bowl, youth group, student council...I had plenty of things to keep me busy and you two always supported me.
Thank you...for always presenting a united front. Perhaps I blocked it from memory, but I don't remember you two fighting in front of us. You're humans, life is stressful, and I am absolutely sure that you fought. But I have always been so in awe of how well you managed your emotions and dealt with things when the time was appropriate. I don't think I'm nearly as good as you two are at handling my emotions but maybe someday I will be!
Thank you...for choosing to love each other every day. Job losses, tight finances, sassy (but loving ;-) ) teenage years, cancer, and so many other hardships that I'm sure I don't even know about...through it all, you two always stood together. I saw that life is not always simple and those romantic, rosy feelings aren't a strong enough foundation to withstand all of the unknowns that come our way.
Thank you for providing a great example for us about the importance of love, support, and commitment in both marriage and parenthood! I am so thankful for you both and hope that my boys will look back on their childhood with the same amount of fondness and thankfulness.
Feeling thankful for your parents today? If you are able to, don't delay in letting them know. We are given today and not promised tomorrow. Share the love!