Dear Mom and Dad,
There are a few things that I can unfailingly count on every year. There are fireworks the day after July 3rd, Thanksgiving magically falls on a Thursday and the last day of May comes right before the first one of June. These constants aside, there’s another phenomenon that occurs every fall. Somehow, without fail, you manage to get me to the starting line of the school year and have me ready to run the race whether I want to or not.
On the first day of kindergarten you showed me which colorful square of the rainbow carpet was mine and put on a brave face in a foreign environment. Although I was unsure of what was happening, your promise to come back for me at the end of the day was all I needed to charge into a new world. I trusted you then and still do today.
By junior high I was functioning at peak levels of awkwardness but you loved me anyway. My pubescent acne, cringe-worthy haircut and preteen rebellion didn’t stop you from making sure that I had everything I could need for the start of a new school year. You looked past my pitiful dependence and packed my lunch that day, as well as for an embarrassing number of days afterward. Science has yet to prove why PB&J and goldfish taste better when someone else puts them in my backpack.
Once I reached high school, any possible remaining shreds of enthusiasm that I had for the first day of school were gone with the wind. You had to extract me from the sanctuary of my bed with a jackhammer only to deal with my grumbling and complaining about being awake before 10 a.m. My failure to heed your suggestion to adjust my sleep schedule during the last week of summer vacation certainly bit me in the behind. Although I deserved all the dreaded “I told you so’s”, you didn’t kick me when I was down. Instead, you fed me a hearty breakfast to take on the dreaded beginning of homework and tests.
The start of each of my years at college are some of the toughest transitions yet, for you and for me. This year you spent an ungodly amount of time assembling Ikea furniture in the living room of my new apartment. Whoever claimed that illustrative directions for a 96-piece desk were the way to go should be strung up a flag pole by their toenails. Your invaluable parental support didn’t stop there. You made sure that I had trash bags and toothpaste and the knowledge I needed to not burn water that I tried to boil.
Thank you for managing to get my sorry butt into school every August. Even though I don’t always enjoy the race of finals, tests, readings and quizzes, I know that you’ll be there at the starting line and cheering me on through the finish. Thank you. There, I said it.
Your educated child
Contact Amanda Chung at [email protected].