Dear Mom and Dad,
For 19 years and 33 days (and counting) you have raised me to be the person I am today. As much as my naïve teenage self may not have thought before college, I would be nowhere without you. If there is anything that being 4 hours away from you has taught me, it is that I have not told you how appreciative I am to have the two absolute best parents and best friends anyone could have.
I don’t think I have gone a single day this school year without texting at least one of you two asking for advice or just wanting to share something that I thought was funny or cool. And before college, I’ll admit, getting a text from you may have led to a “What now?” reaction, but now getting a text from you guys is a highlight of my day because it is an update of what is going on or a funny or interesting clip or article. The texts are our way of staying connected when I don’t have the luxury of seeing you guys like Ryan does at home everyday – and I am sure he absolutely adores seeing you guys everyday.
Anyone looking at our family may just see two ordinary parents because well, to be honest, that’s the truth.
Those people looking from the outside in won’t know of all the times that you woke up in the middle of the night when I ran into your room after a nightmare or when I felt sick, all the times you taped down my laces or taped my ankle before soccer games, all the times you listened to me whine about school work and tests, all the hours you spent on the sidelines cheering me on during soccer games or coaching me during baseball games, all the grass stains that your removed from my clothes that I prided myself in as marks of my fun when they were just torture for you to remove, all the sleep you lost waiting for me to get home late at night, all the brown-paper-bag lunches you packed me to save me from the school lunch food, and I could keep going because it’s the little things that you have done that only we know of.
Other people may see those things and think nothing of them, and others may be able to relate to some, but not the same way as we do; you and me both have very vivid memories of those things. And they may have just seemed like little things at the moment, but I know you did each of those things because of how much you cared about me.
Remember when I would beg you to come outside to kick a soccer ball or throw a baseball and you would drop everything you were doing just for me? I do.
Remember when I would not be able to sleep at night, so we would drive around streets as I sat in the back of the car wrapped in a blanket with my head out the window for fresh air? I do.
Remember when we would wrestle on the floor, and I thought that I actually had a chance at somehow winning until I was too tired to keep going? I do.
The list goes on and on because there is so much good. And it’s nice to look at all that good and know that all existed. But, oh my, have there been bad things. And I am not proud that they happened, but I know that the ways you guys handled all of the bad things have taught me lessons I don’t even realize.
I haven’t yelled at anyone more than you guys, so thank you for putting up with that.
Thank you for putting up with me when I thought I knew what was the right thing to do when you told me to do the opposite.
Thank you for helping me get out of the holes that I dug for myself, and there have been some pretty deep holes.
Thank you for dealing with me and all my hanger – this may be an apology for my hangry alter ego.
Thank you for letting me call you names like “Stupid”, “Idiot”, “Good-for-Nothing”, “Worst Person Ever”, and all the horrible others, and accepting me back after I realized I was wrong.
Also, I have to thank you for not giving me everything that I ever asked for, and for making me figure out things for myself in situations that was needed.
But all those aside, there is one major thing I have to say thank you the most for: you guys are my number one fans. No matter what I am pursuing, you are right by my side. And when everything may come crashing down and I feel like I failed, you guys are the first ones to build me back up and get me going again.
So to my two biggest role models in my life, thank you for every piece of advice you ever gave me, for every opportunity you have presented me with even when it may have set you back in some way, and for being the smartest, most sarcastic, most loving, craziest, funniest, most fun, and, simply, the best people I know.
To everyone else you may just be ordinary, but to me, you guys are extraordinary.
I love you both more than you know,