Of all the days that I hold dear, I remember those with the most fondness. So I say thank you.
Of all the moments of laughter, in those times I laughed the hardest. So I say thank you. I was young, innocent, and free, and you treated me as such, protecting me from the things which might obscure my purity and my faith in the people around me. You gave up so much so I could run in the backyard in the middle of the day, carefree, catching lizards, and giggling with delight as I chased my sister around the grass plot. You gave up so much to give me the finest education, even though you often felt incompetent in being my sole educator. You were always hard on yourself, remembering your past and worrying that it would negatively influence my future.
You gave me everything, denying yourself the simple joys of life in order to ensure I was given everything and more. You didn’t yell when I made mistakes, you quietly corrected me.
When you did yell, it was at the injustice in the world, and cried more in happiness than I ever saw you cry for sorrow.
I find it funny that those of you who were the most successful parents are the ones who meekly proclaimed they had no idea what they were doing. Those of you who did the best were the ones who had reached the warfronts of humanities’ worst and were nearly slain. Those of you who achieved a better life for your offspring took no pride in your accomplishments, but often wondered if you were “messing up” your children. Those of you who did the best were the ones who were not angry at their children when they could not understand a concept, but at yourselves for not making it clearly understood.
You kept us protected. Not to keep us in your control but to give us freedom.
Instead of letting the culture define us when we were vulnerable children, you gave us the opportunity to pick for ourselves what we wanted to believe. You protected us from the things that would disallow us from believing in the existence of good, that would obscure our innocence.
So I say thank you, mom and dad, for being great parents.
Though you weren’t always perfect, you paved the way of success for your children.
You mastered the key to selflessness in your striving to better those under your protection.
You protected and did not control, you loved, but did not take hold.
You always remembered that we did not belong to you, but left space for the people God wanted us to be out of the basis you provided.