Thanking You

The other night Pickles was going to be singing his little heart out at his first Christmas Carols night. So we went along with Pords and The Third, as well as my ever-present support crew (my parents).
At one point, I was selling candles to help fundraise for the school, my husband was cooking the barbecue, and my parents were with the kids. My mum called me over and said that we would be forgiven for not helping out this time around, with three very small people in tow and sleep deprivation to boot. She said she and dad had spent years and years on Parents and Friends Committees and it was a thankless task (or, rather, a million thankless tasks).
I’ve been turning that over in my head ever since. It’s devastating to me that my parents don’t know how much it meant to me to have them so involved in my school and the events that made up my childhood.
The sense of community and belonging inspired by their tireless generosity were hugely formative in my upbringing. I want my husband and I to participate, despite the fact that we don’t really have the time or energy, because of how wonderful it was for me to see my own parents involved. No one really has the time or energy, but someone’s got to do it after all.
It strikes me that there must be a multitude of little things like this in different families. Maybe a parent doesn’t think their child appreciates the long hours they work to provide for them, or the effort they put into choosing and preparing healthy food every day, or the time they spend sewing sequins onto ballet costumes, or the fatigue to the arm muscle involved in pushing a swing at the park ten thousand times. But beyond a thank you, all of these little things add up to making the child the person they are, and that they will become. The child is the embodiment of the gratitude.
But sometimes it’s nice to hear a thank you. So, Mum and Dad, if you’re reading this, thank you for everything. You are adored.
Thanking You
Barefoot at the beach.
Hours at the park.
Singing in the car.
Reading after dark.
The lens is rosy,
Scene is sweet.
Childhood’s viewpoint;
Hard to beat.
Zoom out now / Through time and space
Another home / Another place
And there you were
And here are we.
The same but different
Exhausted parents struggle,
That other life a dream,
But happy children play around –
They run and dance and scream
And nothing here is possible
Since everything is new.
But all I want is what I had;
I want to be like you
So on we press
Though times get tough
For we have learned
That love’s enough.
You think it’s thankless.
That’s not true.
I’ll spend forever
Thanking you.

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