Having recently celebrated both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day I feel the need to say thank you to all the parents out there for all the things you do…my parents in particular.
I’ve interacted with more parents and children than the average twenty four year old because of my experience coaching, teaching swim lessons, and more recently, teaching high school. Through all of my interactions I observed a variety of parenting styles and techniques and while I don’t plan to have children for years to come, I absorbed everything I learned over the past few years like a sponge.
As a non-parent, my biggest advice is to love your children and intentionally show them your love the best way you know how. This also means taking care of yourselves just as much as it means taking care of your children. Here’s a special thank you to so many of the parents that allowed me to coach and teach their kids…while your child may have looked up to me when I was part of their lives, I looked up to you for caring so much for your child and hope that in some way I can be a parent like you.
I consider myself lucky to have my own set of great parents and I know I haven’t thanked them enough over the course of my lifetime, but here’s a special thank you to them…
Thank you Mom & Dad…
- for loving me enough to say “No” and following through with any consequences you laid out.
- for teaching me to respect my teachers, coaches, friends, and basically any human being.
- for having high expectations of me in and out of school. You were right…there was no good reason for me to ever get a “C” or quit in the middle of the season. Otherwise, I might not have been salutatorian in high school or I might have quit swimming like I originally wanted to when I was eight.
- for always having vegetables served at dinner and making sure we were involved in a sport. I will live longer because of the lifestyle you taught me and I’m grateful that you both take care of yourselves.
- for loving each other and setting an example of a marriage that I hope to one day have. Not many couples stay together 25 years because they are still in love.
- for helping me be financially responsible by making me pay for my own things, balance a checkbook, and get a job when I was sixteen. I have always known that work goes behind the money I am spending and therefore watch how I spend my money.
- I’m grateful for all the weekends you spent at swim meets. I now know which sport to discourage my child from because soccer takes up one hour of your weekend….swim meets take up the entire weekend. Seriously though, I appreciate your support.
- Which reminds me to say thank you for your support and encouragement throughout the years with everything. Now that I’m a little older, I realize that driving me to swim practice everyday, checking that I completed my homework, and buying the supplies for a project aren’t things that every parent does for their child. Thank you for also not being obsessive about my success…that probably would have backfired, but I’m guessing you already knew that.
- Thank you for keeping an eye on my whereabouts…I still did stupid things every once in awhile but I got caught for every single one of them because you cared enough to know what I was doing which kept me from doing even dumber things.
- For teaching and making us do laundry, clean the bathroom, and pick up our rooms…I wasn’t completely dysfunctional when I moved out although I’m surprised it took you so long to get me a GPS.
- Thanks for all the memorable experiences growing up like scuba diving, boating, and snowboarding. I’ve been able to do things some people have never done. Also, I’m glad you both have had fun raising us…you didn’t stop doing the activities like fishing or playing tennis just because you had kids.
- Dad-thanks for always playing devil’s advocate whenever I try to make a decision or gripe about something and never complaining when I call crying because I’m lost or did something stupid with my car. Mom- thanks for always being thoughtful with the little things…I notice them even though I don’t usually say anything.