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Dear Mom and Dad

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Dear Mom and Dad,

I’m not sure the best way to say this, but I guess a letter is as good a way as any and would be the most fitting, considering who I am.

It’s my senior year. I’m sure you’re well aware of the fact because you both won’t stop telling me how old I’m getting. Since I’ve begun the search for colleges and where I would like to be located, I’ve noticed some distress from you guys about my future, but I want you to know some things before I’m off.

One: no matter where I go, you will always be my home.

Even if I go off to college in California or travel to Africa for a year, I will never leave you guys behind. You’re my family, and I could never forget where I truly belong. I know you’re worried that I will grow up and move away. I will hypothetically “move on,” but I promise you that I will always come back. I’m going to give you the same peace-of-mind you have given me since I could fathom that you were leaving the house, even if it was for just a bit. The same words you give as a comforting goodbye to my younger siblings who are experiencing the same kind of dread I felt to see you leave: I always come back. Like a wave repeatedly being drawn back to the shore. I always will, and I don’t want you to forget that.

A photo to commemorate not only turning seventeen but how much we’ve all grown with each other into who we are meant to be.

Two: no matter how old I get or where I move to, I will always need you.

I will still call you up when college work becomes too much to bear. I will still look at your pictures and wish you were here. I will still call you, and just the sound of your voice will bring a smile to my face. I will still come to you for advice. I am still your child, no matter how old I am or how much it seems like I don’t need you in my life. I always will. I don’t think I could accomplish many things in life without you by my side. Dad, I will call you with every software and car issue I could have. And Mom, you can expect a relationship advice call in the next couple years because I’m sure it’s bound to happen.

Third: I owe who I am all to you.

I want you to be confident that no matter where I go or what I do, you have raised me to handle everything in the very best way I know how. I can’t promise I will always make the best decisions, but I will always make the ones I think are right. I know this whole “adulting” thing is much harder than I could ever imagine, but I also know that you have equipped me with everything I need to know.

You have taught me to be kind and to love everyone, no matter who they are or where they come from. You have taught me a love for reading and have even attempted to teach me a love for math, which I applaud you for. I want to thank you for everything that you’ve given me, both knowingly and unknowingly. I want to thank you for not only giving me all I could need for school but also all I could need for life. Thank you for always encouraging me in everything I do. Thank you for believing in me and always being on my team. Thank you for teaching me tenacity and to go after everything I want in life. Thank you for telling me nothing could stop me, even when it seemed like I was up against the world. You were right there, holding my hand, telling me I never have to battle life alone. You’ve always been there, and I can’t thank you enough. I am who I am because of you, and I hope you’re proud of me. In the end, all I want is for you to be proud.

Fourth, and lastly: I want to tell you that I love you.

I know I say it to you every day, whether in a rushed goodbye in the morning or after an emotional conversation that leaves us both in tears. I really do. I love how even though neither of us is always right, we can acknowledge and feel comfortable to tell the other we were wrong. I love how open I can be with you and how open you are with me. I love how close of a relationship we have and how you tell me everything that’s going on in your life, both important things and the smaller stuff. I love how I can tell you the things that are stressing me out but that you can also do the same with me.

I love that you trust my opinion on the choices you are making. I love watching movies with you. I love having conversations over the dinner table long after the meal has finished. I love you for who you are and who you made me. I love all of the sacrifices you’ve made for us. I love the extent that you go to to make sure we have everything we need. I love that you have always been there for me. I love you, and no amount of distance could change that.

Thank you for everything, Mom and Dad. This is not goodbye, because as I said earlier, I will always come back. But I want you to know I will be okay. You’ve made sure I would be ready, but I could never outgrow you. I will always need you in my life, but this is me growing up. Not moving on, but growing into new things. And that’s alright. It’s okay. This was always meant to happen, so don’t worry.

Thank you for being the best parents I could have ever asked for.

Love,

one of your five daughters- but as you always like to remind me- your one and only, “Favorite Sarah.”

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