Dear Mom and Dad,
You always told me it would make sense when I got older, that I’d understand when I became a parent. You always said it, but I never believed it.
Well, I get it now.
Now that I am a parent, I do understand and here are all the things I never said that I should have—and here’s to hoping that one day when my children are grown up and become parents, they’ll pay it forward, too.
I’m sorry for every time I misinterpreted your words and actions. For every time that I thought you didn’t want me near; I know now that wasn’t what was happening. I know now you just wanted a moment for yourself, a second to catch your breath, a minute to calm your mind and center your spirit. You weren’t pushing me away, you were pulling yourself together.
I’m sorry for every time I blamed you. For thinking that you wanted to deprive me; I know now that any time you couldn’t give me the things I wanted, it hurt you more than it ever hurt me. I know now that you spent hours examining your budget; that you worked overtime not to stay away from home, but to make sure I never missed a field trip; that you endured a guilt so powerful whenever you bought something for yourself, you almost always returned it. You weren’t depriving me of what I wanted—you were ensuring I had everything I needed.
I’m sorry for every time I compared you. For thinking you were somehow less just because you did things differently—I know now you were everything and more. I know now that you spent more time comparing yourself to others than I ever did; that you felt your flaws and fought them to the best of your ability; that you were never meant to be anyone other than you. You were never inadequate—you were always enough for us.
I love you.
For every time I didn’t listen to you because I just knew I was right, find pride in the fact that you raised such a strong-minded woman and remember I love you for that.
For every time I ignored your advice and faced the consequences, find comfort in knowing it was you who showed me how to get up, wipe off the dirt, and keep marching on and remember I love you for that.
For every time that I wanted to grow up too fast, find peace in knowing that now my childhood holds some of the most precious memories for me and has given me the outline for how I wish to raise my own kids and remember I love you for that.
Please know every sacrifice you made has left an imprint on me and, although unnoticed for too many years, now serves as a map to help me become the parent I want to be for my children.
So, here’s the most important thing I should have said to you and the one thing I hope my kids will one day say to me:
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