And Week 23's prompt is . . .
A LETTER TO YOUR PARENTS!
Dear Mom and Dad,
The older I get, the more I know how fortunate I've been to have you as my parents. When I was a child you provided a safe place for me to grow up and gave my verbally precocious self the brain food I needed to set my own pace and thrive. When I was a teen you had the right balance of freedom and careful awareness to make me feel I could explore my identity without restrictions. When I went to college, you supported me financially and emotionally so I had every opportunity. And when I became a young woman, you let me decide who that woman would be.
When I compare notes with friends who grew up with less of the kind of support you offered me, I realize how much of who I became depended on being fostered and encouraged the way I was. I always felt that home was a place I could be myself. I never felt pressured to adopt ideas that hurt me--my choices and feelings about religion, sexuality, livelihood, and independence were respected and acknowledged. I know now that many people I know grew up without that foundation of safety--that they sometimes had to come home to judgment and violence--and as the years pass I grow ever more grateful that I had so little to move past, to unlearn, to unpack, to leave behind. Being your daughter has been a privilege, and I hope I keep making you proud of your choices. I love knowing that you like how I turned out, and I don't know if you give yourselves enough credit for the part you played, but you should. You really should.
I love you the maximum.