Dear Mom and Dad,
I don’t know what you wanted me to be when I grew up. I’m sure at some point you hoped your child would be a doctor or a lawyer, you imagined looking up admiringly at a stage full of scholars as they called the name of your offspring. I would be married with 2.5 children and a job that helped to put us in suburban’s finest.
I don’t know what you wanted me to be when I grew up because you never made my life about your hopes and dreams that didn’t get accomplished, so that you could live vicariously through your children. You allowed me to choose my own path, and when I seemed to step off into a ditch, you have always been there to help me get back on the road.
The partnership you two created provided a home filled with love and laughter, the makings for memories I couldn’t wait to share with my own children some day. You fostered my passion for creativity, being just slightly different than everyone else. I was never meant to be a cookie cutter person and you both have paid the price a few times for my hard headed personality and need to explore what the world had to offer. I can never express my embarrassment for my teenage years or the regret for following my heart instead of my head, but you would never ask that of me. You have always accepted this person that came from your love as an individual.
I knew what I wanted to be from a very early age, perhaps in part to be given a sister with whom I know I abused my “big sister” authority with many times (sorry Steph). But I wanted to teach, I wanted to take my act from the neighborhood garages where I played “school” with a chalkboard easel and a few neighbor kids willing to let me boss them around. You encouraged an education and allowed me to choose where to go and what to do. I loved every minute of my years as a teacher of preschool children.
When I met my husband, you stood by with concern and worry as any good parent would. You asked questions and expressed wonder; was this the one, really the one? And when we moved in together, you were so supportive and excited for me-a little worried we wouldn’t stay in touch as much now that I lived so far away. I was wrong, I had said I would and while I had tried for a while, I didn’t make as much of an effort as I should have. But know that you were and always will be in my heart and thoughts each and every day! It always seemed like I was stumbling on this path I chose, I never felt like I truly had my shit together, but you stood there on the sidelines cheering for me to get back up and dust off the dirt.
The sacrifices you two have made, the lessons you have instilled in your children have brought me to where I am today and I am so thankful for that. I live in a semi truck and you haven’t disowned me (yes, I’m sure there are some parents out there that probably would). I am living a life of amazing opportunity. I know whatever I want to do, it is possible for me to acheieve because you have always let me try. You have allowed your daughter to reach over into the pool of life and test the waters (with life preserver in hand of course) and I am a better person for it.
When I told you I wanted to quit my job and join my husband on the road, while you had your questions and concerns, you still allowed me to make thst decision. I know I will not always succeed with each new path I attempt to take, and that is ok. You have taught me that it’s okay if I don’t get it right the first try, that the most important thing is to persevere and try another way if I need to. And so I continue on with confidence, which you gifted to me by being the most amazing parents any child could be blessed with and I am eternally grateful! If ever you’ve question(ed) “did we do okay?” Rest assured, you’ve done a phenomenal job and are quite deserving of “parent of the year” coffee mugs 35 times over!