Parents Weekend was about two weeks ago.  Many of you had the pleasure of visiting with your parents—going to the football game together, eating yummy barbeque and taking selfies with Cocky at the Parents’ Picnic, catching up on all of the family gossip.  While I had a blast spending the weekend with my fellow ambassadors facilitating the parent-child bonding, I didn’t have the opportunity to hang out with my mom and dad.  The commute from New Jersey was just a little bit too long to justify them coming to visit that weekend.  But that doesn’t mean they weren’t in my thoughts!

Parents are actually pretty cool, mine especially.  My mom and dad have been supportive of me and my interests throughout my entire life.  They drove me to the library whenever I asked as a kid, they shuttled me back and forth from soccer practice (and then ballet, band practice, theatre rehearsals, and my friends’ houses).  They encouraged my curiosity, answering my endless questions about the world around me to the best of their abilities and constantly challenging me to keep learning.  They packed my lunches throughout grade school and they took care of me when I was sick.

Now that I’m older and over 600 miles away from them, the way they take care of me has changed.  My mom sends me pictures of our insurance when I need to go to the doctor and my dad helps me manage my bank account.  They text me updates on how my brother in Pennsylvania is doing, as well as tell me about (and make me jealous of) all of the cool things they’re up to now that they’re empty nesters for most of the year (cranberry bog hikes, trips to the beach, Escape the Room challenges).  Getting a chance to talk to them on the phone isn’t frequent, but it almost makes them more special.

I don’t tell my parents I appreciate them enough.  Most kids don’t, I think.  Sure, my mom and dad and I have our disagreements, but what family doesn’t?  I am privileged to have such wonderful, supportive, smart, and compassionate parents.  They had my back when I stepped into the classroom on my first day of preschool, they had my back throughout the stressful process of applying to colleges, and they have my back now.  I will forever be grateful for the opportunities I was allowed because of all their hard work, and I love to make them proud with everything I achieve. 

So shoot your parents a quick thank you text.  Tell them you love them before you hang up the phone on your monthly phone call.  Let them know how much you appreciate them, even if they live in Columbia and you’re only ten minutes away from home.  They deserve it. 

Thank you, Mom and Dad.  I love you.

 

-Rachel Rizzo

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