Opinion | We should appreciate important people in our lives every day; not just on one holiday
Nicole's Two Cents
Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 14, 2013 21:02
My hands worked through the soft cookie dough as I tried to quickly shape it into a semi circle to resemble a cookie while my iPhone sat molded between my ear and my shoulder. While multi-tasking these two things, I had one of the best conversations with my dad in probably four years. Initially, it was the best because my dad was talking to me about politics, and what the U.S. needed to do in order to fix the economy. We shot thoughts back and forth at each other, agreeing and digging into what we thought was the underlying problem. This was at first why I deeply loved this conversation, because I rarely hear my dad’s point of view of the economy. My dad is a hard working blue-collar kind of guy, who has devoted most of his life to working on the railroad night and day. He travels five out of seven days a week to put me through college, and works in conditions that most wouldn’t believe or tolerate. This is why I loved his perspective about the economy, but as the conversation grew on, I realized I love this conversation because I love my dad.
When I first started this column, it was about the conversation that unfolded between my father and I, and all the super smart things and advice he had about why our economy is so terrible. And you know what, I will save that for another column because it is important, but what is more important is that I take the time to acknowledge how important and strong my dad is.
We rarely appreciate our parents every day of the year, and no one really expects us to, but we should. Just like Valentine’s Day, Father’s Day comes once a year, and then we remember and appreciate the dads in our lives that work so hard for us. And then as soon as the day is over, we go back to our normal lives as college students living away from home and forget to simply say, “thank you.”
Thank you dad for making the hardest decision of your life when you were laid off when I was in middle school and deciding to travel five days out of seven so that you could pay for me to play club soccer. I know it was hard for me to deal with, but I couldn’t imagine what it was like for you, living out of hotels and driving nine hours straight to get to work. For those of us that have parents that complete physical labor every single day for nine hours, for maybe ten plus years, what more can you do then say “thank you?” We will never know the sacrifice they make because they do their tough jobs so that we don’t have to have jobs like this.
Thank you dad for coming to all of the soccer games that you could manage to come to, even if you had to drive seven hours from work just to get there in time. I know in high school I always hemmed and hawed about how you ran after me on the sidelines with a video camera strapped to your hand. I promise you though that I secretly loved it. Now I appreciate those moments more than I ever have. We will never be able to go back to those soccer games, but I know you loved watching me run down that field more than anything. For some reason, no matter what sport we play, what play we are in, or what instrument we play in the high school band, our dads simply cannot get enough of it.
Thank you for buying me a plane ticket to Mexico three weeks before spring break after you found out my high school boyfriend broke up with me right before Valentine’s Day and my birthday. I didn’t ask for it, and you didn’t have to do that, but all you wanted was for me to have a great first spring break of college and to move on. You only wanted to see me happy and never cry. You may not always say it to me, but I know that is all you have ever wanted for me: to be happy. That is all our parents ever want for us. We may fight their decisions for us but in the end, they are hard on us because they know from experience, and they don’t want us to make the same mistakes.
The point is, we should appreciate our dads, moms, boyfriends, girlfriends, sisters and fiancés, even our pets more than just one day out of the year. We should say thank you more. We should let our parents give us advice even if we don’t want to listen to it.
We should let them always be our parents even after being in college for four years and we think we know it all. Thank you dad for everything you have done. Someday, I will call you on the phone and we will say our hellos, and I will tell you how happy I am, and how it was because of the sacrifices you made for me. Thank you.