How fortunate that Thursday falls the day after Christmas! At least for this particular post. Even better — it has to do with accomplishing another 30 Before 30 goal, too.
My parents kept a journal for me starting with my mom’s pregnancy and up to my freshman year of college. It spans three journals, actually, capturing the main highlights of my youth. I absolutely love them, but it also makes me nervous just having the one set.
Years ago when they were passed on to me, I decided that I wanted to type up and “publish” it. Naturally, that project was always on the back-burner, which is why I put it on my 30 Before 30 List. I kept it a secret, though, because I wanted to give it to my parents as a gift. And that’s exactly what I had waiting under the tree for them yesterday.
Although I wanted the end result of having a printed copy of the journals, I also wanted a chance to really read through the journals as well. I’ve skimmed them a few times over the years, mostly just looking for humorous notes or interesting stories, but I can’t say I really read it.
Now I’m thankful that I did. I texted the middle about half a dozen times as I went through the journal. Apparently I rarely got to babysit the middle and the little because we fought so much and the middle was “a little rough” with me. It’s so funny to reflect back on the days when my sisters and I merely tolerated one another, given we’re all best friends now. Plus I got to read funny little anecdotes like this:
Today, while we were riding in the car, Kathy and I heard a new combination of syllables from the back seat. It sounded just like you said, “Oh, shit.” We both cracked up. Leave it to my daughter for something like that to be her first “words.”
More importantly, though, I’m glad I read it because I couldn’t even begin to tell you how many times I felt overwhelmingly thankful for my parents.
Long story short, they rocked (and still do). It was incredibly apparent that everything they did was for our benefit and betterment. They looked for homes in good school districts, took us on countless family vacations and trips, let us partake in any extra-curricular activity that caught our attention. The list goes on. I’ve always known that a big part of the reason that I am who I am because of them, but this was a good reminder about how much they invested in me.
Case in point? When I was in pre-school I became obsessed with outer space. As we were crafting some rocket in school, the teacher said we could take rockets to the moon, and I was convinced that meant we were going on a class trip using our new rockets. When my mom picked me up, I told her I had to go to the moon but would come right back. She then had to explain to me that it wasn’t how it worked and sadly I wouldn’t be going to the moon (and apparently the teacher felt really bad because I burst into tears and kept saying, “but teacher said!”).
My mom mended my broken heart while my dad “turned the town upside-down” trying to find me a rocket toy (this is pre online shopping, ladies and gentleman) and book. They were so hell-bent on making sure I could pursue that passion and learn all I could. And keep in mind, this is when I was a pre-schooler.
That love, help and support remains even today. I get countless links, emails and words of wisdom, whether I’m going through a life crisis or not. I’m forever grateful for all the things, big and small, that my parents have done for me as well as the middle and little. We’re a little crazy and unconventional, but they embrace it right along with us. And I honestly don’t think any of us would have it any other way.