Note: I’m writing a note of gratitude on the blog each day in November leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday. My hope is that these posts will inspire you to do the same. Write an email, Facebook post, or a text to tell people they have made an impact on you. Gratitude is contagious.
As a parent, it’s almost universally true that our children don’t express a lot of gratitude for all we do for them. They don’t seem to appreciate the effort and sacrifice it takes to keep them alive and hopefully get them to adulthood safely without screwing them up too badly.
And, our kids can be pretty nasty to us at times, particularly in those golden teenage years where even the sweetest kids have moments where they behave like assholes. My parents, and my mother in particular, still have nightmares about my teen years. I took being a know-it-all jackass to the art form level with my parents.
So today, I wanted to dedicate my words of gratitude to my parents. I know that I have never adequately thanked them for the sacrifice and commitment it took to raise me.
There are things about me today that I take for granted as strengths I can lean on. Things like a strong work ethic, a deep sense of integrity, a compulsion to give back to my community, and an appreciation for the value of great friends. All of this comes from my parents.
My parents never sat me down to talk about these things. It was by living with them and observing their example that all of this set firmly into my identity and beliefs. I was lucky to have such great role models in my life in my formative years.
Above all of this though, the greatest gift that my parents gave me as I was growing up was a certainty that anything was possible. I never knew or felt limitations to what I could accomplish, only possibility. My parents encouraged me and supported my aspirations even while I was being a giant pain in the butt.
I was profoundly lucky to grow up in a house like this. It is an immense privilege to be born into a family like this. And, I am trying my hardest to give this same gift to my children.
Mom and Dad, thank you for everything you’ve given and sacrificed for me. I know that at times, the choices I’ve made haven’t made much sense to you, but you’ve always been there to support me when I needed it most. Thank you for all of the lessons I learned through your example. So much of the best of me today is a reflection of you. I love you and am so grateful for you both.