Mom and Dad,
For the past twenty-one years, you have been my main support system. You taught me the basics: walking, table manners, and driving. From there, it then also fell as your responsibility that I became a decent human. Someone who’s a friend to all has a strong work ethic and is generally successful.
You have allowed me to test the waters of life, while still offering me a solid support system if- and when- I messed up. Because of this, I’ve found my passions, begun exploring the world, and made my fair share of mistakes, which you encouraged me to learn from.
About a month from now, I will have a $120,000 piece of paper that says I am well-educated and employable. This is, truly, because of your confidence, trust, and unconditional love for me. In many ways, once that diploma is handed to me you can sit back and enjoy the fact that your job is done. I’m officially raised, the majority of the laundry list of things you needed to teach me are checked off. (That doesn’t mean I won’t come to you when I need to figure out how to file taxes or deal with health insurance, though).
More often than not, parents go unappreciated, especially by us 21-year-olds. We’re “too busy” flying by the seat of out pants: equally stressing out about planning for the future and making the most of the present. In the midst of capstone projects, resume revisions and running out of money, I know that I (amongst many other college seniors) are guilty of not reminding you that we recognize your hard work and appreciate it tremendously.
So here we are: Mom and Dad, thank you for it all.
For driving me around until I got my license, while listening to my friends and I sing along to the Jonas Brothers CD for the millionth time. For making sure I had an understanding of what’s going on in the world. For coming to every recital, play, and game, no matter how much I would be performing or playing. For instilling family values in me. For always making sure I had new clothes for the first day of school, but also making sure I didn’t always get what I want. For introducing me to the oldies, because let’s be honest- nothing will ever compare to The Beatles and I certainly need to understand that. For making the best spaghetti sauce this side of the Atlantic. For reminding me to treat the janitor and CEO the same way.
And, of course, thank you for all that you have done for me throughout my college process when you had to parent me from miles away: From the get-go with the college applications when you accompanied me on college tours and edited my application essay countless times. For helping me through every bout of homesickness and encouraging me to find ways to immerse myself around campus. And now, for reading over every ‘professional’ email I have to send in my attempts to get a job while listening to me talk out my anxieties about leaving my comfort zone. For reminding me that adulting might seem hard, but I am more than capable of taking on the post-grad world. And, for depositing a check now and again so when my beer… I mean grocery… fund starts running low.
Soon, I will walk across a stage in an unflattering robe while you scramble to see me shake a bunch of old people’s hands. I hope you know that I quite literally wouldn’t be there without you, and I am well aware of that. Graduating college is as much my accomplishment as yours.
Oh, and by the way is it okay if I move back home this summer?