You are the only people in the world who’ve known me since the moment I took my first breath.
You gave me life.
You committed your lives to making certain that I was safe, fed, clothed and sheltered.
You taught me what you knew about this world.
You gave me pearls of wisdom, borne from a life lived in your shoes: Sometimes I liked it, sometimes I didn’t. But you loved me enough to share those pearls with me, anyway.
When I skinned my knees, you comforted me.
When I fell, you lifted me up, then taught me how to do it myself.
You took on this job of raising me, knowing that the end goal was to teach me well enough that I would be able to stand alone and let you go someday.
You always did the very best you could, with what you knew at the time: Never less. Often more.
At suppertime, you ate the chicken wings and necks: I didn’t know then that it was so I could have the meatier pieces.
You loved me so much that you were willing to risk losing my affection when you disciplined me: Being loved was secondary to you. Teaching me what I needed to know was paramount.
When I was grown, you watched me as I headed for the cliff’s edge, with love and hope and fear and a giant prayer in your heart: Some things, you knew, I had to learn for myself. The days of kissing boo-boos away were past. That must have been harder than hard.
When I succeeded, you cheered me on. When I failed, you cheered me on: You never stopped believing in me.
I’m so lucky to still have you both in my life.
Now, it’s my chance to give back to you just a tiny fraction of what you’ve given to me: Some people never have that chance. I’m glad I do.
© Janet Mitchell, August 2012