The following letter was written as a submission to Michelle's March Write Away contest hosted at her blog. The theme was "the next 20 years." I decided to write about the next 20 years from the perspective of my daughter, looking back on them as she prepares to graduate from college. Maybe I'm a little optimistic, but what new parent doesn't dream of the best for her babies?
Dear Mom & Dad,
I can't believe I am going to turn 21 this year. My college days have just flown by and now I am officially a proud member of the class of 2028! 20 years ago as you watched me read my first book, were you two dreaming of this day? I never expected to feel such excitement about graduating from college, but it just hit me today that I am almost done with this phase of my life. I will be turning a corner this year and life will never be the same as it is now. Anyway, before I head off into the "real" world, I just wanted to take a moment to write down some thoughts about my first 20 years with you.
First, Mom, thank you so much for keeping that blog. I can't tell you how many nights I've sat up re-reading your posts and looking at pictures of me as a little girl. It means so much to me that you made the time to document the life of our family so carefully. Having read the words you wrote as a 30-year old woman helps me better understand you as a 50-year old woman. I can see how you poured your heart into making our family and home a haven. Someday, I hope to be as devoted to my family as you have been to us.
Now, Dad, you were never the mushy type, but I still always knew you loved me. Especially when you would ask me, "so, what's The Girl up to this weekend?" I still like it when you call me The Girl, even though I am old enough to vote. And I will vote Dad; this year is my first presidential election. You taught me that it is important to use my voice... just like my namesake did. I may never go to Asia like her, but I will always try to use her legacy to remind myself and others of the importance of living my life for the glory of God.
Both of you made growing up easy. I never had to wonder who would help me with my homework or whether or not I could ask the 'hard' questions. Dad, remember that time in middle school when I asked you about the birds and the bees? You did blush a little until Mom stepped in and explained that no, I really did want to know about how plant pollination worked; we'd been studying it in Ag class.
God couldn't have picked two better parents for a girl like me. There are so many experiences from my childhood and teen years that made such an impact on me, I hardly know where to begin.
I guess my earliest memory is growing up in that dome! None of my friends got to live in such a cool house. You really set the green lifestyle bar high in Frostproof with that house. It was neat to see conservation in action everytime I pulled into our driveway. It didn't make me the coolest kid on the block to live in such a strange house, but it definitely proved a point about being different and not worrying about it.
Being different. That reminds me of something else that you two did for me that was awesome. You gave me the best family when you adopted Mihaela from China, George from Africa, and the twins from across town. We really stuck out in a town like Frostproof, didn't we? But neither of you ever flinched when we got strange looks from the folks in town. I am so proud to be their big sister!
Being the oldest had its privileges too. The first mission trip we took to New Orleans will forever be one of the best weeks our family ever had. Your example of selfless service was imprinted on my heart that week in a way that mere words couldn't have done.
What I really want to say is that my first 20 years have been amazing. God sure knew what he was doing when he put us together as a family. I pray that in my next 20 years I will start raising my own family in the way you have shown me. And while you have always encouraged me to be my own person and an independent thinker, I will always be your little girl.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Shared by Jennifer at 3/18/2008 09:23:00 PM
Labels: Write-away Content
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