The Things My Parents Taught Me (But Might Not Know I Learned)
It’s getting closer to Thanksgiving, a day where we take the time to be thankful for everything around us. I was thinking about that recently, trying to figure out what I am most thankful for. Trust me, it didn’t take long to figure out. The answer is, unsurprisingly, my parents. As I thought about it, I started to realize that there was a lot they tried to teach me growing up. So, in the early spirit of the holidays, this is an appreciation for everything they taught me that managed to stick.
Learn something new.
I like to think that I’m the kind of person who will try anything once and I have my parents to thank for that. Throughout most of my life, they were always encouraging me to push myself to do something new. Whether it was a book or a movie, my parents always seemed to know what I’d like if I only gave it a chance. Maybe that’s the reason I’m such an adventurous person. I’m glad that they showed me this when I was growing up because it made my college life much more interesting.
Family comes first.
This is a quality that I think my parents emphasized better than most people. No matter what, our family would always come first. My daddy worked at the same company longer than I’ve been around, usually on the night shift. However, that didn’t stop him from showing up to sit with my mom for every important school event while my siblings and I were growing up. It didn’t matter how tired or busy they were. If it mattered to us, they were there.
It’s okay to cry.
Disclaimer: This does not apply to movies. They will absolutely tease you for crying.
My parents hated when I hid how I was feeling. It was lying, in a sense. I would tell them I’m okay and they’d know I wasn’t. God bless my parents. They never pushed me to tell them what was wrong. For them, it was easier to wait until I was ready to talk instead of forcing me to talk. Even when I wasn’t talking, though, they always made sure that I knew it was alright to be upset.
Don’t be afraid of saying goodbye.
This is a hard thing to learn at any age, but it’s something that we’ll all have to do eventually. I never imagined that I’d be saying goodbye to my daddy so soon, but it happened because life isn’t always fair. Mom did everything she could to make saying goodbye easier for us, reminding us how much he loved us and how he wouldn’t be in pain anymore. It wasn’t easy – it’ll never be easy, but she made it easier to be brave and say goodbye.
Home will always be there.
The summer after he passed away, we moved from our hometown in Oklahoma to a smaller town in Kansas so that we’d be closer to our family. I was already planning on going to Rogers State University, over an hour from my mom and siblings. It was hard for me to accept that I’d be so far away from them for most of the year. Before I left for my first semester, Mom helped finish putting my room together. I know that it doesn’t seem like a big deal to some people. For me, it meant that I do have a home and it will always be there for me.
No matter what, I am loved.
It’s funny that people are always trying to remind me how much my daddy loved me because I’ve never doubted it. My parents never gave me a reason to think otherwise. They are my greatest supporters, even after I’ve messed up for the hundredth time. I didn’t have to earn their love because they gave it to me unconditionally. I know they loved me then. Of course, I know they love me now.