Thursday, June 13, 2013

Thank You, Daddy

When I think that Father's Day is going to hit on the same day I walk at my last college graduation, I can't help but tear up. I can't think of a better gift than hopefully making you proud, Daddy... and finally giving you an end to the exorbitant tuition you've been paying since I started kindergarten. I have so much to be thankful for... Seventeen years of schooling and unconditional support... I couldn't ask for a better dad and I'm quite sure I don't tell you that often enough.

Daddy, you've always encouraged me to do whatever makes me happy and to do it well. Both you & Mom have been so amazing to let me major in whatever I wanted and not push me into something that gave you two better bragging rights. I know that Comm & Psych aren't the easiest major choices to explain when all the in-laws and well-meaning friends ask you, "What's she going to DO with that?" and I'm so grateful that you've put up with it for four years. It can't be easy. And I thank you.

You've given me such freedom during college and have really let me figure out my own way. You don't always understand why I do what I do {interning all the time when it's during the school year and it's unpaid and I have to spend lots of time traveling to and from} and you may highly encourage me to just concentrate on school and friends, but when I continue to do it anyways, you always keep me company on the long bus rides home.

You've been the best walking buddies I could ever ask for when I hike back to the apartment from across campus. It doesn't matter what time it is, you're always willing to take time out of your day and let me ramble on about nothing and everything. It means the world to me. Even when we do end up grumping at each other about applying for jobs or getting apartment stuff done. I'm still glad I called home.

I haven't been the best at keeping you guys updated on what's going on in my life and I fail when it comes to calling you on a regular basis. Letting your only kid go 300+ miles away for nine months out of the year must not have been the easiest transition, but you handled it better than anyone I know. If it means anything to you, college has taught me what being homesick really means and I experience it every time I have to come back after breaks. You never really appreciate what you've got if you've never experienced life without it. If I didn't get anything else out of college, I'm glad I learned what homesickness feels like because it made me realize just how much you both do for me every day. Although... I guess for your sakes especially, I really hope I got more out of college than just that...

Who else has parents that they can text in the wee hours of the morning and still know they can get a response? I probably've never said this to you, but I'm glad you both live on college student hours. Cause so do I. My night owl tendencies are inherited and it makes me smile that we all stayed up past 4 AM this Christmas, cooking and deshelling crab. What other parents do that?

Who else has parents that text faster than they do? Or that cancel a snowshoeing trip because their kid decided to make an impromptu trip home? Or are willing to hold the cell phone up to the dog's ear so she can hear the kid say hi? What other parents don't freak out when they get a late night call from their kid's roommate saying she's in the hospital with a busted chin and instead tell the newly stitched up one that she's fine and that face wounds just tend to bleed a lot?

Who else has parents who know to call or text the best friend if their kid hasn't answered her own phone in a while? Or sends articles especially for the bestie since they know that she'll be interested? What other parents tell their kid to go out and play more and get enough sleep and stop studying so hard when she's tired during college? And don't blink an eye when she sends emails or writes blog posts at five or six in the morning? Or text giant scenes from TV shows that they know their kid hasn't watched yet, with the note that she really needs to watch last night's episode?

Does anyone else have parents that are willing to find a special hotel that houses dogs, just so their kid can be reunited with the family canine for a week during the quarter? That are willing to help return two tons worth of research books to YRL from the dorms freshie year cause their kid had been avoiding bringing them back herself? That take it in stride when their kid asks them to bring a small travel-sized fish tank to her at the end of the school year because she just adopted a hermit crab?

I could go on and on, but basically, it all boils down to one thing. I have the bestest parents ever. And I can't think of a better Father's Day gift than to go up to you on Sunday, Daddy, and just say, For you. Because while you put me through college for me and for my future, I just want to return your investment with interest by making you proud and showing you that it was worth it.

I know you don't understand why I'm interning again this summer instead of coming home, but it's an opportunity that opens a lot of doors. And I am considering the future when I make these plans. I want to make these past seventeen years of schooling worthwhile and sometimes, and especially in this economy, it means a small delay in achieving the end goal. I'm lucky to know that even when you don't fully get it, you still will listen and be excited with me when I call you about something cool that happened at work. That you'll push me to go exploring more and adventure with friends during the summer, not just spend all my time indoors. That you'll continue to send me potential job openings that I may or may not actually apply for... *sheepish*

This Father's Day, Daddy, I just want you to know that the thirteen plus years of driving me to and from school every day are not forgotten. That the four years making that six plus hour drive up and down the California coast are appreciated. The years of making and packing lunch for me the night before are remembered. The reminders to go to sleep during high school when I stayed up past three to finish homework still make me smile. The countless "I love you" texts make anything and everything better. The ridiculous amount spent on tuition still makes me wince. And the unconditional support always reminds me that I am loved.

Thank you for everything and I can't believe this chapter's almost over. See you tomorrow, Daddy, and I'm so excited to see you.

PS: Please don't cry at graduation. You'll make me cry.

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