Name something awesome your folks did for you

Beyond raising you, and I am thinking of smaller things than ‘sent me to college’ or ‘Didn’t abort me’. I mean something YOU remember from when you were a kid, that maybe your folks already forgot about, that you now think was just awesome. Something you may not even have thanked your mom or dad for, but maybe you will after you tell it to someone else. :slight_smile:

Another thread’s reply inspired me:

One of mine: I was 18 and had finally found full-time work, but it was at a ski resort a few hours away. To live in the dorms <and there really was no other option> was a couple hundred dollars upfront, plus a month before you got paid, so you needed money to get started, basically. We had none, never had. My dad found out at dinner, left ‘to go drinking again’ afterwards, according to my mom, and the next morning handed me 400 bucks he’d hustled playing pool the night before. <3

If I thanked him for that now, he’d just tell me he REALLY wanted me out of the house. :stuck_out_tongue:

When I was about 12 maybe, me and some neighbourhood kids decided to wreck another kid’s fort that his dad had built for him at the side of the house.

It wasn’t my idea, and I felt a bit guilty doing it, but I was influenced by peer pressure and most certainly participated in the wrecking.

Somehow my folks found out about it. My mum made me go over and apologize in person for doing it. I procrastinated for a day and pleaded with her because “no one else has to go apologize!” I realized she wasn’t going to back down, so the next day on my way home from school I stopped by, rang the door ball and waited. I had never felt so embarrassed and ashamed in my life as I stood there and apologized to this kid I hardly knew, with his father standing right there.

You can guess what kind of lesson I learned that day.

Thanks mum.

When I was a kid, Santa used to put our Christmas stockings into our beds, so we would find them there when we woke up (as an adult, I suspect that Santa did this in order to give my parents some extra time to sleep while we dug through the stocking goodies, and I hope he continues the tradition with my kids). My parents have continued to make stockings up for us every Christmas, kind of a nice way of saying “You’re still my kid, even when you’re grown.”

The year my husband and I bought our house, my 18-year-old brother lived with us - it was a good transition for him between “on his own” and “still at home”, and it helped us with the mortgage. I got up early that first Christmas to surprise my brother with a stocking in his bed, and when I went out back to let the dog out, I discovered that my dad had beaten me to it - he suck over to our house in the wee hours of the morning to put Christmas stockings by the back door, so that we would still have that awesome feeling when we woke up.

My dad was king of the “little ways to say ‘I love you’”. He passed away last October, and I will never stop missing his gestures of care.

My mom was severely aquaphobic. Because of this, she made sure I knew how to swim and took me to swim lessons every week without fail. I’m always grateful for this since it seems that swimming is like biking - you never forget how to do it.

My parents celebrated Christmas and got me a tree and presents even though they were staunch Hindus so I wouldn’t feel left out every year.

I don’t know if this is a little thing or not.

I was in grade eight and was taking grade nine math at the high school and was in a gifted program. There was a high school in the school board that catered to gifted students. The idea was that these students thrived on competitiveness and they set it up so you competed with the other students at everything.

Anyway, the principal of my school set up a meeting with my parents to discuss my placement for the next year. My parents showed up with me. The principal had a lengthy discussion of the merits of the ‘gifted’ school and why he thought I was a good candidate. He directed this at my parents.

When he was done, he looked at my parents and asked, ‘So, would you like to sign her up for that school?’

My parents, without skipping a beat, looked at me and asked what I wanted to do. I told them I wanted to go to the ‘normal’ school.

My parents then looked at the principal and said, ‘you heard her,’ and we left promptly.

It was the best decision that anyone could have made. It allowed me to walk to school, help my peers and get involved in the music program.

On top of that, it made me proud that my parents had that much faith in me. It also made me realize that I was capable of making good decisions and that I was a compentent near-adult.

My dad helped me put together this really complicated cat feeder I’d bought. (To be honest, there are still parts we don’t know the use of, but the machine seems to be working without them). In particular, I simply do not understand the weird… mechanism that serves as its timer.

Every now and then as a kid, I’d have a question about how something technical worked. I’d ask my dad, and he’s sit me down at the kitchen table with a pencil and piece of paper, and draw diagrams and explain things to me in a way that I could understand. I don’t know if he knew it at the time, but those were great bonding moments for me. It wasn’t the knowledge that he imparted that was so valuable to me, it was the one-on-one time.

My mom referred me to my current job. It was air-conditioned, sit-down, and my first real “career” type job. I’m still here 4+ years later, and it has enabled me to live independently of my parents, despite my lack of college degree. Yay for nepotism!

She works in a different department that has nothing to do with mine, but the fact that she had a good work history and referred me probably bumped me up a couple notches in the eyes of HR. And besides, if my mom didn’t work here, I’d have never heard of the place at all. So, props to my ma for that.

Mom made me learn typing a million years ago in high school. At that time, computers were gigantic rooms in banks, not even in our thoughts.

Thanks Mom, you helped me type this reply.

My parents took me and my brothers out of school for a week for a trip to California (and Disneyland). That was pretty cool.

Well, there is the “my mom didn’t abort me”, since I was the 7th kid in 6 years and she had uterine cancer while carrying me. I was born and she had a hysterectomy right away. I’ve always told my siblings that mom stopped trying when she finally got it right. :smiley:

There was the time Dad and I stayed up all night (it was probably midnight, but it felt like all night to me) when I forgot to tell him I needed a pyramid for a school project the next day. Those careful mitered sides. I was so tired, but gluing sand onto the plywood base. Which all came off on the way to school.

Dad always assumed any child of his could help with household repairs, no matter age or gender. We learned to set toilets and wire lamps, etc. Even though we were born in the 50’s-and early 60’s, my parents didn’t have gender-specific chores. You were a kid, you had chores.


Somewhere near the end of first grade my mother figured out I was ready to read Jules Verne, and got From the Earth to the Moon for me from the library. This despite the fact that at the beginning of first grade I was not particularly advanced in reading. Back then parents did not expect their kids to read Proust in the womb. This set me off on a reading adventure which has lasted ever since.

My mom used to sign me out of grade school for a day so I could go skiing with my older sister on days she was home from college. (not frequently, maybe twice a year)

I think this is a big part of the reason that even though she is 12 years older, and she moved out of the house (except for summers) when I was 6 years old, we are still very close. Thanks mom.

My mom loved to surprise me with things, especially things that I didn’t think were obtainable. For example:

  • When I was a little kid, I wanted a stuffed Pink Panther. I’d never seen one, and I was pretty sure there wasn’t any such thing. But on Christmas morning, there was a stuffed Pink Panther under the tree.

  • When a little older, I collected comic books (mostly Harvey: Richie Rich, Little Dot, Casper, etc.) Every Thursday I’d come home from school and ask her, “Any little surprises?” She’d say, “I don’t know, go check.” I’d run to my room where there was always a stack of new comics.

  • Older still–actually out of college and with a job by then. Super Mario Brothers 3 had just come out, and I wanted it but it was impossible to get. One day I checked the mail and discovered a package–she’d managed to work her network of contacts and find me a copy of the game!

My mom and I definitely had our differences, but she was really excellent at “little surprises.”

I don’t have a whole lot of good memories of my mom and dad. But there are a few. We lived in Michigan when I was a teenager, and my dad used to go somewhere up north to go salmon fishing. One time he came home in the middle of a school night and woke us up, and we had a huge feast at the table of fish, oysters, clams, and crabs. I remember that we didn’t say much- just sat there in the middle of the night, gorging ourselves on seafood, like it was the most normal thing in the world.

Two similar incidents.

There was a little branch library that my mom and I rode a bus to on a weekly basis, where I got my first library card. The library was roughly divided in half; the left-hand side was the children’s area, the right-hand side was the adult’s area. Over time, I read my up through the various strata of children’s lit, and I’d begun to read my mom’s library sections at home, so I wanted to start browsing in the adult’s section. Picked out some books (nothing “adult,” just non-fiction stuff on pop culture or history or something), and when it was time to check out, the librarian took a look at what I had, and wouldn’t finish the check-out process. My mom came up, and the librarian took her aside to tell her that it was inappropriate for me to be browsing the normal book stacks, and that I should stick with the kid’s area. My mom told the librarian that it was none of her business what her patrons were checking out, and something like “he has my permission to read what he wants, and he doesn’t need yours.” I never stepped foot in the kid’s section again.

Several years later, I was a 12-year-old comic book fan, and was getting more interested in comics with mature themes. Marvel began issuing the Elektra: Assassin series, and I wanted to buy it. The comic shop owner told my mom that he was uncomfortable selling it to me (which seems more reasonable to me than the librarian before, since the comic was markedly adult), and my mom told him that if I felt like I was ready to read something, then she would support my decision.

Years later, I talked about that with my mom, and her main recollection was that she felt annoyed by people second-guessing her parenting and underestimating my ability to grasp content. (Video stores at the time had the option to mark accounts to allow children to rent R-rated films, so we never had this kind of problem there.) But I was always happy that my mom had my back, and was willing to let me make my own decisions about what I felt was appropriate. And it’s especially surprising, since we were in a strict evangelical Christian church and social circle, where parents were expected to spoon-feed safe content to their kids and never trust them.

My dad gave me a badass Buick Skylark GS and date money. It made highschool fandamntastic. He knew the value of a good time with eager happy women. When I finally brought the right one home he recognized she was the one and treated her like family. It’s like a knife to the heart to think of him gone and it’s been 14 years now. I guess it always will be. He knew everything and was happy about it being exactly as it was.

That may sound shallow and womanizing but it was goddam great and I don’t give a damn what you think. 29 years to a woman I would die for. Can you beat that?

My family was super poor growing up. Hand-me-downs and food stamps poor.

Somehow by the time I was 7 my parents had saved up enough to take my brother and I to Disney World. And my aunts and cousins came too (they paid their own way though, but they were equally as poor). This was no driving trip to stay in the Motel 6, either - we FLEW and stayed in the Polynesian Village resort and ate in the park and everything. I think I even got to buy a souvenir. I also remember my mom let my cooler aunt (her younger sister) take me to the store to buy *outfits *and accessories before we went.

It must have cost a fortune and taken my parents a hell of a long time to save for, but it was the best thing ever. We didn’t take another major family vacation again until 10 years later when I was 17 (again to Disney) but I didn’t even notice - I had my ultimate vacation fix!

My dad taught me how to blow a bubble gum bubble, how to easily swallow large pills and how to draw.

My mom buttered my crackers and sectioned grapefruit for me.

My dad brought me over the spares he had of all his tools - a very full Craftsman toolbox - when he saw that I’d tuned up my car w/ a plug socket wrench and assembly multi-tool that came w/ an exercise machine I had. Neither of us could get the car to start (turned out to be the fuel filter) but he was impressed at what I’d done w/ what little I had and acknowledged it. Those new (to me) tools hold me in good stead to this day and there were many occasions in the interim 16 years that I was able to immediately rely on myself instead of someone else because of them.