As most of you know, I teach public high school where I run across the products of what may possibly be the world's worst parenting. I won't get into the stories, but let's just say some of these kids didn't have a chance when the,ir mommas pushed them from the womb. Hell, some of them weren't even safe IN the womb. I've encountered some of the most broken, hopeless kids in the almost seven years I've been teaching, and most of the time I really understood these students once I met their parent or parents. These kids are used as slave labor, punching bags, emotional crutches, bargaining chips, piggy banks and everything else that a child should not be used for.
I say all of this so that you understand my "thankfulness." I am thankful for two parents who loved, nurtured, supported and actually RAISED me. They didn't baby me, they weren't permissive and they never UTTERED the words, "My child would NEVER..."
I had parents who made every effort to know who I was with and what I was doing. They were intrusive and strict and everything I thought they shouldn't be. They gave me rules and curfews. They knew all of my friends and wouldn't allow me to leave the house with some guy who pulled up and honked his horn. They took and/or dragged me to church every time the doors opened. They insisted we eat dinner as a family. They attended my ballgames, recitals and school plays. They made sacrifices. And at the time, I didn't appreciate a bit of it.
I understand now that my parents loved me and made ME their priority without turning me into a spoiled, pampered brat. They taught me that I was worth more than a label on a shirt, more than what a boy told me I was worth. They knew that my entire life would be shaped by what they taught me and the guidance they provided.
Did I screw up? Constantly. Was I the perfect, well-balanced kid and teen? Hell no. I drove them absolutely nuts. My parents spent more time on their knees than anyone should have to, praying for their crazy kid. But despite the mistakes I made, I've turned into a pretty damned decent adult if I say so myself. And I know that it's because of them and their constant encouragement, wisdom and prayers that I'm the woman I am today. To be honest, I might not even be alive and well if it weren't for my parents' constant intercessory prayers for me.
I am so thankful for my parents. I can only hope that I'm half the parent they were and still are.
Thank you, Momer and Diddy. I love you.