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Thank you for pushing my limits. As a child I never quite understood why you’d always set the bar, what seemed to be, just a little too high for me to reach. As a young adult it finally makes sense. You knew what I was capable of and wanted me to realize it, too. I needed to separate myself from the rest of the pack. You gave me the push I needed to do just that. You taught me to never settle for less than what I deserve and the importance of recognizing my own worth.

Thank you for always being upfront with me. It ensures that I always know exactly where I stand with you. If and when I mess up, I know it – and I know it immediately. You’ve taught me that it’s okay to be wrong, but it’s important to learn from my wrongdoings in order to avoid making the same mistake twice. Sometimes the truth is hard to hear, but hearing it makes you a better person. Thanks to you, I realize that the world will not be handed to me on a silver platter and that I’ll have to work to get whatever it is that I have my sights set on. Life is going to be tough at times and the honest, encouraging words you continually give me have taught me well.

Thank you for teaching me to speak up. Thinking about it now, I’ve never really heard anybody tell you “no.”You work tirelessly for what you want and you don’t quit until you get just that. Being taught the importance of honesty and speaking your mind has given me the backbone I need to go places and succeed in this world. You’ve made me realize that not every person you meet is going to protect and nurture you at all times. The real world is harsh.

Thank you for not always being “the cool parents.” I was often jealous of the kid whose parents let them do whatever they wanted. Now that I’m older, I realize exactly why you couldn’t always act like my best friend. We have our ups and downs, but never for a split second have I ever questioned your love for me. You weren’t afraid to remind me that you are my parents before anything else. Sometimes I needed that. From this, I’ve learned not just why, but also how, to show my love and respect for those who are most deserving of it.

Thank you for making me stubborn. Growing up, your stubborn ways would get on my nerves, but I’ve learned much more than I ever thought I would from your stubbornness and your resilient ways. I’ve seen how strong-willed you are. Because of that, I know exactly what I believe, and I believe in it full-heartedly. I know how to be a good listener and I know to respect the opinions of others, but I also know that I shouldn’t conform to fit in with any differing opinions.

Most of all, thank you for the tough love. Raising me wasn’t always rainbows and butterflies, I’ll be the first to admit it. I’m stubborn and sometimes too honest for my own good, but I’ve learned it all from and for the best.  As a child, it sometimes made me angry that my friends were babied and you refused to coddle me. Now, as I sit here in my college town, hundreds of miles from where you are, all I can do is thank you. You have molded me into the strong, independent person that I am today. For that I couldn’t be more grateful. I know how to stand up for myself and get things done, and I’m not going to be blindsided by the real world. I’ve been aware of the harsh reality that is the real world from the start, and because of the way you love me, I’m finally ready to take it by storm.

Katie R.
FFL CONTRIBUTOR
Katie is a studying Criminal Justice and Political Science at the University of Nevada, Reno. She loves baseball, dogs, the Dallas Cowboys, Jesus, and the USA.