Growing up, about middle school age, I realized that all of my friend’s parents were quite a bit older than mine. My friends were talking about their parents having health issues and being grandparents, while my parents were healthy and active and definitely nowhere near having a grandchild! It wasn’t until people around me brought it to my attention that I realized that my mom was much younger and more like a big sister than a mother as we did everything together. Once I got a bit older she told me the story of how her and my dad met. My mom was 18 when she got pregnant and it was not planned, my parents got married and soon after people around our small town starting placing bets of how long the impromptu marriage would last. 28 years later they are still married and more in love than ever. Due to the way I grew up and specifically the people that raised me, my entire childhood has shaped me for this moment.
When I was young my mom worked three jobs and my dad shift work and I spent a lot of time at my grandparents. I had everything you could imagine growing up but was also taught the value of hard work. I have such great memories from my childhood of trips we went on as a family and get togethers we had. It was such a happy home and full of love. Once I realized what my parents had been through together and how hard they worked to give me all of these things, looking back I appreciate them that much more.
28 years later my dad has a government job, my mom is a principle of one of the largest schools in the district and my parents just moved into their dream home on the water. The way my parents raised me has shaped who I am and where I am in life today. I was taught that hard work and perseverance does pay off, that you can achieve anything you set your mind to and that nothing is out of reach. Education has always been an important thing in our family, as both of my parents went back to school over and over again to get where they are today. I was taught that nothing is a waste no matter how many times you change your mind with education and occupations as long as you give it 100%. I know all of this sounds cliché but it really is what I was told on a weekly basis. Having a child at a young age I know now was not easy but the positivity that both of my parents surrounded me in growing up has stuck with me today.