Friday, February 10, 2017

People I'm Grateful For

Valentine's Day is upon us next week, and I can't believe we're at mid-February of 2017 already.  I actually really love Valentine's Day.  And all holidays in general but this is a pretty good one.  But a lot of people loathe this holiday, and I just don't know why.  (Other than the prices on candies, dinners, and flowers going up, and I don't like that either.)  I've always been a fan of Valentine's Day.  I think it's just one of many great days of the year to tell all the people in your life how much you love them, which is what I plan on doing this year. 

So let me tell you about two people I'm particularly sending my love to this Valentine's Day:

I'm grateful for my mom.  I'm not sure where she got all of her parenting skills from, other than the fact that she probably thought 'what would my mother do?' and then did the exact opposite (my grandmother is a wench.)  She was the perfect involved mother growing up, and then picked the exact right time to morph from mother to friend.  She still mothers me though, because I'm an only child and still her baby, and I need her, dammit.  Totally incomplete list of things she's done for me: drove me to and from school every day until I was 17; was there waiting at the bus stop on the days I did take it; let all my friends stay over any time they needed to, no questions asked; was my girl scout troop leader for 10 years; cooked every meal for me and never made me eat meat (I never had fast food until my aunt gave me fries when I was like 9); drove me to and stayed the entire time for: dance class, horseback riding, cheerleading, soccer, basketball, ice skating, tennis, track, SAT prep class, library programs, calligraphy class, cooking class, and a thousand other activities; stayed overnight, every night I had to be in the hospital; constantly took me to the library and let me be a little introvert in my room, reading for as many hours as I wanted; taught me all I know about shopping; watched Mary Kate and Ashley movies a thousand times because it's all I ever wanted from Blockbuster on the nights my dad was out and we were eating waffles and ice cream for dinner.  She was the constant provider or snacks, took me and my friends for ice cream after school all the time, took me to things like the American Girl fashion show and pumpkin picking, and never forced me to do a damn thing I didn't want to or talk to anyone I didn't want to when I was being shy.  If I posted all of the things my mother has done for me or taken me to, this post would take you days to read.  But suffice it to say, if I'm ever kind or gracious towards you, if I'm ever a good hostess, if I'm ever dressed well or my home and family is well taken care of - I learned it from my mom.

I'm grateful for my dad.  My dad worked hard my entire life, and continues to do so, so my mom could stay home and do all of those things with me I listed.  He has owned his own successful pediatric practice for many years longer than I've been alive.  If you want a role model to look up to, you can read my post about (a very small snippet of) his life here.  I'm adopted and I quite literally would not be where I am now if it weren't for my dad, who picked me at the hospital from the minute I was born.  My mom will be the first to tell you that, no matter how much time she spent with me as a kid, I turned out exactly like my dad.  And I am very proud of that.  We're both stubborn and headstrong, confident and smart.  We have no tolerance for bullshit from anyone in our lives and we hold ourselves to very high standards and expect the company we keep to meet those standards too.  We're perfectionists, even though he totally let me cheat at Candy Land when I was a kid.  He pushed me into private schools, honors courses, and all sorts of sports (and practiced all of them with me!  He's 77 and still jogs almost every day!) and never let me think for one second that girls couldn't do every single thing that boys can do, and assured me that I could do it better.  Not only did he pay for private school since 6th grade, my dad also paid for all of my college tuition at Iowa and saved so much in a Roth IRA in my name, since I was born, that it easily paid for law school as well.  He also paid for books and housing in that time so I could concentrate solely on school.  I have no debt because of him, which is probably the greatest gift you could give your kids nowadays.

I'm thankful that I've never felt like I wasn't totally loved and supported, that I've always had a safe place to come home to, and that my parents are always on my side, no questions asked.

So, this Valentine's Day (and this entire love filled month) doesn't have to be about a significant other.  It can be about all the people you love.  For me, that's my parents, and since my mom only occasionally reads my blog and my dad never does, I should probably print this out and give it to them.

Who are you grateful for in your life lately?

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