To my parents
(and all parents)
Looking back at your old wedding photos, you both are HOT STUFF. Mom, you probably worried onlooking strangers and temple workers because you had the body of a 13 year old girl, very skinny, and… short😜, but you looked absolutely stunning. Dad, you were extremely well built, especially after just finishing a college football career. When I saw the picture of you at the beach from your honeymoon, I couldn’t believe my eyes, you were RIPPED. Together, you two really were quite the good looking couple… It’s no surprise that one of your wedding pictures became a big poster add in a mall.
Fast forward through the years, and 6 kids later, you two look different. Mom, you no longer fit into your size 00 jeans. Dad, you no longer feel comfortable without a shirt on. I know you guys don’t like the way you have changed, I have watched you both cycle through many different ways to lose weight. From Atkins to Weight Watchers, from juicing (I will never forget the day I tried one of your ginger juices and almost puked my guts out) to weight loss pills. There have been many, “We’ll start on Monday’s” and many conversations about the latest and greatest way to take off the pounds. I have watched through all of the years, and I have felt both sad, and grateful.
Society tells you both to look a certain way that is SO unrealistic. Mom, you see those bloggers and Pinterest moms who do it all. They create the most beautiful and *spotless* homes, teach their children 3 languages, bake intricate meals every night WHILE working a job… and then at the same time they have perfectly fit and toned bodies that could fit right back into their wedding dress. Dad, you see other fathers who make millions yet only have to work a couple days a week so they have all the time in the world to workout and maintain a fit body. These types of people are praised in our world, and made out to be the role models and the heroes of this generation’s families. So naturally, you both feel a little bit bummed that your bodies have taken a hard hit in the weight department.
As your child, I just want to say thank you. Thank you for taking time away from your time to workout just to help us kids with homework. Thank you for scarfing down that gas station cookie on the way home from a track meet because that was the only food that you got all day. Thank you for not getting up at 5 in the morning to workout because you had to stay up til 1 am the night before to help finish a forgotten school project. Thank you for picking up a pizza for dinner because you were so busy running around all evening driving kids to and from practice and didn’t have time to make a home cooked meal. Thank you for spending time that you could’ve been doing your own workout on coaching the most uncoachable kids through workouts of their own. Thank you for sacrificing the looks of your bodies for the happiness and wellness of your kids.
The world may look at you guys now and not care for how you look, but to us kids, you both are still HOT STUFF. The world may look at you guys and think you are average, but to us kids, you are our worlds, you helped create every opportunity for us to grow. Society tries to tell you that you gained weight because you are lazy and careless, but I have to COMPLETELY disagree. You gained weight because you are selfless and hardworking. You gave all of your time and efforts to raising us kids, and you didn’t have time to get a six pack along the way… and that’s ok. If it means anything, us kids don’t give a dang about what you two look like, we love you both for who you are and what you have done for us.
So I hope that you two don’t still worry about your rolls and your stretch marks. I really hope that you don’t look in the mirror and feel like failures. I hope you can instead look in the mirror and see what me, and the rest of us kids see, and that is two absolutely amazing people who would sacrifice anything for us. Two people who have been working hard on raising a family nonstop since 1997. Two people who have saved their child’s life through love and support. Two people who have helped coach and support a bunch of great athletes. Two people who have raised a son who just left on a mission by his very own choice. Two people who bear the burdens of patiently raising a child with severe ADHD. Two people who have given everything they could to their children… and to me, I think those are the things that are much more important than those rolls and stretch marks.
(and what I believe all children would say to their parents)