We are given this life. This incredible life. An extraordinary gift and opportunity. A life where we can accumulate riches, fame and personal indulgences befitting such a unique single life. We can live in the fanciest mansions, drive the most luxurious of cars, enjoy manicured hair and nails, tanned and pampered bodies, eat the finest and most expensive of foods…
And then, unbelievably, indescribably….people give these lives away. Freely. Happily.
They give them to their children.
This one life. One life right now….Their’s for the taking and spoiling and self-coddling. Their’s to surround themselves with every wicked extravagance.
And they give it up for their kids.
Women give up perfect bodies for stretch marks, extra weight and varicose veins. So many forfeit salon hair and nails and designer clothes so that their kids can get new soccer cleats in neon green and go to the prom. Many stay at home, giving up handsome careers to work three times as hard raising children.
Fathers who once dreamed of driving convertible Mustangs are topping 170 thousand miles on the ten-year-old mini-van. They suffer jobs they hate and hours that weary so their kids can go to the college they weren’t able to. Instead of eating the choicest of steaks on their one day off a week, they are warming up a plate of the leftover Hamburger Helper on the way to coaching their kids’ little league.
There isn’t enough paper to tally the sacrifices made by parents who have the roaring hearts of lions. They take their own lives, their own dreams, their hard-earned money, their best decades…and simply give them away. They give them to their children.
My heart swells when I look all around me, so touched by the incredible parents I have known all my life. Your selfless desires to enrich and enhance the lives of those you call your own are ones I consider admirable and heart-warming.
May your sacrifices be returned to you one thousand times over. Each a gift of love. Each a flower in the most beautiful of meadows.
I am proud to know you, Moms and Dads. I salute you. I think what you do is pretty outstanding.