My parents are amazing people.
I know most people say that and sometimes unfortunately not enough can say that but I can and for that I am truly grateful!
Now I’m not saying they are 100% perfect, but with what they had they did their gah damn very best and as one of four of their children that’s all we could ever ask for.
Both my parents were born in Mexico and at young ages both moved to the U.S. with their families. Both graduated high school and both literally started from the bottom and worked their way up in their respective careers. Though I know it wasn't easy for them.
As a kid, I remember trying to stay up to catch my dad coming home late from work or having an art fair at school and not having them able to come because both were working. They weren't the parents who could always pick us up right after school or make it to all of our games. We were often left in after school care or picked up by family members and dropped off at our sports practice then later picked up by my parents. As a kid it wasn't that I felt they were never there because they were. They would literally get off work and come to us where ever we were, where ever we needed them to be. More often than not they would come to our practices still in their work clothes and just watch us (if my dad was coaching us he’d change from his work clothes and start coaching!). With four kids in soccer six-days-a-week, they never just had 8 hour work days. They made it when they can and when they did we were their sole focus.
But as a kid you see your classmates’ parents helping in the class whenever big events were happening or their parents would bring them lunch, go with us on field trips and you’re both sad and frustrated that your parents aren't those parents. Especially when you’re the third of four children and your parents have already been through all the same with your older siblings (god bless my little brother’s soul, for he was the fourth and they had already been through everything three times already). So as a kid that’s when it hurt the most, but now looking back I understand the sacrifices they made for me and my siblings.
They worked so long and hard so they could afford to put us in the best schools and allow us to play all of our extra curricular activities. Sure we didn't take summer vacations every year like other families, or have the hottest toy, or the coolest clothes but we still got presents on Christmas and our birthdays, we always had food in our fridge, I've lived in the same house my whole life and we all got to play soccer for our lives (trust me that equipment and league fees are not cheap). They did the best they could and provided us with the best they had.
To this day, they’re still providing for us! They have four adult children still living in their house and even though we all pitch in and pay the bills we can, they never once asked us to pay rent or even the bills we’re paying now. They always drove the point that as long as we were in school they would do whatever they can to help us continue our education. They didn't want us to put school as a back burner, they wanted us and still want us to get college degrees and be the most successful adults we could be. Neither one of them received college degrees or really had the opportunity to, so they always told us that what they wanted for us was what they couldn't have for themselves.
Even as I write this lengthy post, words cannot express how much they've done for us, not just financially but emotionally as well. Despite my family not being the best communicator for emotions, we've somehow managed. My parents never really talked openly to us about sex, drugs, and peer pressure (or not at least with me maybe my siblings) but they never had to….they raised us in a way that all that stuff was just common sense. They raised us in a unique way by guiding us without really hovering and commanding us. They trusted us! That’s a lot to say about a relationship with our parents. Sure they had rules we had to follow and sometimes we thought they were somewhat ridiculous but they weren't “crazy parents’ strict.”
Even to this day when I see how other people are with their parents, both sides now being adults, I see how unique it is to have the relationship I do with my parents. As we've grown, they've grown with us and that says something about them. Some parents no matter the age of their children still treat their children as kids and though my parents are still my parents and we’re still their kids, they also respect us as adults who live their own lives.
With both, my mom and dad, each losing one of their parents and being old enough to actually see and understand them processing that loss, I understand how lucky I am to have them with me.I understand how lucky I am to have this unique relationship with them. I understand that it won’t always be this way. And sure as we go on we will continue to not see eye-to-eye on certain things, but at least we have a relationship where that’s okay. Where it’s fine if we have different opinions, at least we have a relationship where both sides can disagree but still love each other and continue to spend time with each other, most people don’t have that!
So to my Mom and Dad, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you!
I also want to thank their parents for raising them in such a way that gave me and my siblings our parents.