So there you are…sitting at a desk in the local library, your computer open to a spreadsheet titled “Budget” and tears streaming down your face. The true definition of adulting.
You’ve spent the last two hours looking at apartments for rent, calculating your net salary vs. gross salary, wondering if you’re the only person who sees ‘gross’ and automatically thinks of moldy broccoli, and attempting to set up an Excel document that adds a sum of your expenses.
The evening had the potential of being productive, but slowly (and surely) you’ve become a bat-crazy emotional weirdo. You’re in a room by yourself, crying at a spreadsheet…SOS.
Well, needless to say, you phone a friend. AKA: Dad, who never fails to get you out of your bawling phase and into your confident, I-can-do-this stage. And after talking to him, you of course call Mom, the voice of understanding, to get her advice and feeling-filled response to the whole situation.
And then, like clockwork, tonight becomes another night where your parents picked you up, brushed you off, and set you back on your feet. Another moment where they paused the hockey game or grabbed the Bluetooth headphones and chatted while cleaning the dishes. One of the countless times they put you first, hundreds of miles away. They’re so damn selfless. And you need to thank them for being them.
1. Thank them for all the smelly diapers, Band-Aids, and mid-grocery-shopping fits they put up with when you were younger.
2. Thank them for attending all your games, your in-the-kitchen-impromptu-puppet-shows, your concerts, and your parent-teacher conferences.
3. Thank them for dropping literally everything from the project they were in the middle of, the website they were reading, the work assignment they were studying, or the dinner they were making to hear what’s going on in your world.
4. Thank them for getting up from the couch and pulling up their computer screen just to read through a document with you.
5. Thank them for answering your phone calls almost all the time. Or at least giving you a quick note, ‘Hey I’m at work.’ So you knew they weren’t just ignoring you.
6. Thank them for texting you back (they’re better than a boyfriend most days!)
7. Thank them for leaving the nightlight on in the hallway…even now, when you come home from college…and never making fun of you for wanting it there.
8. Thank them for all the lunches they packed when you were a kid.
9. Thank them for the little love notes they’d slip into your backpack. That you still remember, even today.
10. Thank them for teaching you how to pump gas…because, well, that was definitely necessary.
11. Thank them for patiently catching all of your crappy pitches when you first started softball.
12. Thank them for never laughing at you when you missed fly balls. (Yeah, you were awful back then.)
13. Thank them for throwing you fly all after fly ball in the park until you could actually catch.
14. Thank them for encouraging you to always pursue the things you were interested in.
15. Thank them for signing you up for everything under the sun: art classes, pitching lessons, karate, basketball, soccer, hockey, choir…you name it!
16. Thank them for always putting you first, even when they had more important things to do.
17. Thank them for driving you to your friends’ houses before you could. And always checking if the parents were home.
18. Thank them for listening to your crappy saxophone practices night after night, pushing you to stick with it, then giving you the freedom to quit when you hated it (and really sucked).
19. Thank them for taking you on college visits and for road-trippin’ across the Midwest with you.
20. Thank them for proof-reading your high school essays and always finding the most random, sneaky errors that you never could.
21. Thank them for subscribing to your blogs and reading them. And still catching your typos.
22. Thank them for teaching you about cars and never rolling their eyes when you still don’t understand the whole ‘oil change every 3,000 miles’ thing.
23. Thank them for answering your questions about credit cards, payments, and bills, even when you call about them at the most random hours of the day. AKA: ten at night or smack in the middle of their work day.
24. Thank them for pushing you when you needed it and letting you run when you were passionate about something.
25. Thank them for the notes they wrote you on your high school graduation, that you have saved, still, in your ‘special things’ drawer.
26. Thank them for saving all your stupid little writing and art projects from elementary school with stick-figure people.
27. Thank them for driving the six and a half hours to your college just to watch you play ball.
28. Thank them for listening to your rants about boys and roommates and mean people.
29. Thank them for never telling you that you had to be or act a certain way.
30. Thank them for giving you some money when you were really struggling. Even though they probably didn’t want to.
31. Thank them for teaching you to be responsible, kind, and to always write thank you notes.
32. Thank them for always giving you advice when you needed it. Even if you didn’t take it.
33. Thank them for listening when you just needed to vent.
34. Thank them for never being too proud to cry. And for being vulnerable around you to teach you that it was okay to be honest about your feelings (and okay to cry like a baby sometimes).
35. Thank them for reading to you as a kid.
36. Thank them for tucking you in bed or singing to you when you couldn’t fall asleep.
37. Thank them for their faith, and their encouragement of faith.
38. Thank them for the adventures, the vacations, the places you’ve wandered as a family, and the exciting places you’ve been.
39. Thank them for telling you they loved you. Because we all need reminders.
40. And thank them for being them. For being parents that have guided and strengthened you, given you wings, but let you grow and fly on your own. Even though you still really don’t have your life together, they have given you confidence to push forward, and love that surrounds you. You’re blessed. And you know you don’t say it enough, for the things on and off this list, but you’re thankful. And you love them.