Mom and Dad,
It’s the time of year when greed seems to come out and play the most. But for me, as the holidays draw closer, I can’t help but feel extremely humbled and grateful.
It’s no secret I have been very blessed over the years. You both have spoiled me for sure.
But not always in the ways that I wanted.
Of course, you showered me with gifts on holidays and birthdays, dedicated so much of your time and money towards my passion for basketball, and took us on some pretty amazing vacations throughout the years.
But most of all, you spoiled me immensely with love, lessons, opportunities, and support.
You spoiled me, not by always giving me everything I wanted, but always providing me with everything that I needed. And for that, I am eternally grateful.
I’ll never forget the day I found out that if I wanted gas money or a little extra cash to go to the movies or do something with friends, I was going to have to get a job and work for it myself.
I was almost 16, and though I had been babysitting for a while here and there, I didn’t feel ready to take on my first REAL job. I was so annoyed with you both at first. How was I supposed to juggle school, basketball, AND a job? How was I supposed to keep a social life? How come everyone else’s parents were paying for their gas and all their extra activities, yet my sister and I had to work for ours?
I thought it was so unfair at the time, but now, as a 23-year-old, working three jobs while in grad school, I am so thankful that you didn’t give me everything I wanted when I was growing up.
I am thankful because I learned early on in life the value of hard work.
I am thankful because it taught me what it was like to be proud of myself.
I am thankful because it has given me a lot more respect for myself and for the things I’ve earned on my own.
I am thankful because it taught me to appreciate every single little thing that someone does for me.
I am thankful because I learned the concept of responsibility, and no matter what, to always show up ready to work.
You both have provided for my siblings and I in ways that money could never buy. You’ve loved us enough to let us struggle, but have always been there to pick us up if we ever needed it.
You’ve emphasized dedication and accountability, which is something I’ve found that my generation seriously lacks. You’ve taught me I don’t need to rely on people to do things for me because I can always do it myself.
You’ve shown me that love and support is enough, and money can’t buy happiness. I’ve realized that shared experiences and life-long memories are far more valuable than any amount of money.
In these past 23 years, you both have taught me everything I know and stand for.
You have raised me to be strong and independent but have also reassured me that sometimes it’s okay to ask for help.
You’ve raised me to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, help others when they need it and not stand on the sidelines and watch. You raised me to hold the door for the person behind me, say ‘excuse me’ when necessary, and to love people for who they are and not for what I can get from them.
Most importantly, you raised me to treat people exactly how I would like to be treated by others.
You’ve taught me to smile in the face of adversity, to believe in myself, and to always put my faith in God.
Mom and Dad, there aren’t enough words in the world that I could say to show just how grateful and blessed I am – all because of you two. All I can say is thank you. Thank you for giving me everything I could have ever needed, but not always giving me everything I may have wanted.
Your Little Girl