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Thanks, parents

Megan Finneran | Thursday, February 11, 2010

 When was the last time you called your parents or grandparents or best friend just to say, “Thank you for everything.” Today in my Spanish class our teacher asked what we said the last time we talked to our parents. She called on a junior boy who answered, “Gracias por mi educación.” She jokingly asked him why he was just thanking them for the first time in the second semester of his junior year, and we all laughed.

That little answer really got me thinking. I don’t think I ever specifically thanked my parents for putting aside hundreds of thousands of dollars for my college education and all the other things they paid for as I was growing up, as I’m sure many college students never have. I remember constantly complaining about painful nuisances like braces and dentist appointments, never thanking them for paying so I could have practically perfect teeth years later.
When is the time to thank your parents for dealing with you when you were a crying baby and did nothing but scream through the night? Or when she drove you “all over God’s kingdom,” as my mom always said, so you could make it to every extracurricular your heart desired? Apologies and thankfulness often don’t come out until it’s too late.
How many family parties have you had to endure, or how many holidays have you had to dress up for just because your grandparents were coming over?  I know at least for me, I would rather eat Thanksgiving in my sweatpants so I could eat as much pumpkin bread as my heart desired and not have to feel buttons digging into me. However, every year we dress up to share a meal with the grandparents we rarely see. For those of you who still have those grandparents to worry about you, pinch your cheeks, annoy you with their inability to hear during telephone conversations and the inability to even find the power button on a digital camera, try not to think about those times when they drive you nuts.
Instead, think to the times when they call just to see how you are feeling, send you little care packages and how their faces light up when they see you. Give your grandma a call, and trust me, it will make her week.  
I guess the moral of the story is, call your parents and thank them. Thank them for the opportunity to be away at school, to have a dorm room to call home (whether it is cramped Morrissey or beautiful Ryan!) and to have people that love you. 
A few weeks ago a girl in my dorm found the following quote: “Today is the youngest you will ever be; live like it.” Let’s face it … none of us are getting younger, and neither are our loved ones. Appreciate every day, have fun, and never take anything, or more importantly anyone, for granted.