• The Nicest Thing Your Parents Ever Did for You

    September 4, 2013

    Good morning!

    I saw this question in the September issue of Real Simple and thought it was a good one for CNC. I’m grateful for all sorts of nice things my mom did for me over the years, and I know you guys probably feel the same way about your parents, so I thought today’s post would be a good opportunity to share why we are thankful.

    My mom has done lots nice things for me in my 33 years of life, but I’ll start with the obvious ones first.

    She gave birth to me. Thanks, Mom!

    mom and me

    She let me live in her house for 18 years and clothed and fed me.

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    She went to all of my soccer games, tennis matches, band concerts, dance recitals, awards ceremonies, and school musicals, despite being a single parent and working two jobs.

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    IMG_4575 (800x600)

    She helped me pay for college. During my senior year, she also gave me money for rent and groceries, which were not covered by my generous financial aid package, when I wanted to live off-campus with my friends, and my waitressing and work study jobs just wouldn’t cut it.

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    She gave me away on my wedding day. (At the alter, she told Mal: “No backsies,” but I’ve forgiven her for that.)

    mom and me wedding day

    Obviously, my mom has done a lot of nice things for me, but one gesture, in particular, still sticks in my mind after all of these years.

    From 8th grade to the summer before my junior year of high school, I dated a guy named Bryan, who was two years older than me. He was my first love and my first real boyfriend.

    high school boyfriend

    When Bryan left for college, we broke up and I was a total mess—completely and utterly heartbroken. I still remember the morning he left. He stopped by my house to say goodbye, and I just fell apart. I honestly thought my life was ruined, and I would never fall in love again. (Oh, the mind of a 16-year-old.)

    Needless to say, my junior year got off to a rocky start. I remember lots of crying and spending a lot of time alone in my bedroom listening to depressing music and looking at photos and reminiscing about good times with my now ex-boyfriend. I was mopey, moody, and so, so sad.

    One night when my mom got home from work, she came into my room and handed me a small paper bag with something inside. My mom hardly ever bought gifts for my sister and me out of the blue—she pretty much stuck to birthdays and holidays for things like that—so it was definitely a surprise. Inside was No Doubt’s “Tragic Kingdom” album. A few days earlier, I mentioned how much I liked No Doubt and my mom remember and bought their CD to cheer me up.

    tragic-kingdom
    [source]

    This little gesture might not seem like a big deal to some people, but, at the time, it was exactly what I needed. It was a nice reminder that someone cared and loved me when I was hurting so much inside. The music also lifted my spirits and helped me forget about Bryan (at least temporarily).

    Question of the Day

    What’s the nicest thing your parent(s) have ever done for you?

    P.S. Check out my newest post on The Laughing Cow blog: Make Cheesy Snacks Sweeter This September!

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    { 78 comments… read them below or add one }

    Alex @ Kenzie Life September 4, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    This is such a sweet post! I think the nicest thing my parents ever did for me was pay for my college tuition so I wouldn’t graduate with 200K in debt, and let me study abroad multiple times. I owe all my international travel to them and I’m so grateful!

    Reply

    Sara September 4, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    Very sweet post! The things my parents have done for me through the years (and still do at age 31!) are too numerous to count. I feel so lucky.

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    Coco September 4, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    My parents are paying for my wedding, so I’d have to say that’s pretty darn nice!!

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    Tina September 4, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    That IS nice! :)

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    Callie September 4, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    I love this post! It especially means a lot to see that your mom walked you down the aisle. I’m getting married this October and my mom is doing the same. It’s going to be so special!

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    Emily September 4, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    Cute post! I love that your mom did that-and what she said to Mal, ha!

    Reply

    Sally September 4, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    I LOVED Tragic Kingdom! “Don’t Speak…” Sigh. My parents are the most wonderful people I know. I am living in Boston with my husband for a couple of years while I complete a nutrition program, and they are back home in Florida. I spent half an hour just talking and laughing with them. I miss them, but know they are so happy that I am following my dreams of becoming an RD. Hope your mom reads this post! :)

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    sally @ sweat out the small stuff September 4, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    Without getting too too heavy….
    My parents paid for my wedding and then my husbands’ funeral 5 months later. They’ve always been really good at supporting me both financially and emotionally in a totally understated way. I’m turning 40 in 6 weeks and they’ve offered to have my house painted! =)

    Reply

    Tina September 4, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    Wow. I’m so sorry. I’m glad you had such supportive parents to help you through that.

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    Caroline @ Broccoli Hut September 4, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    What a great question! I loved reading about all the wonderful things your mom has done for you.
    As for me, the nicest things my parents ever did was give me a quality education, despite its ridiculous price tag. It has certainly opened a lot of doors for me, and I am forever grateful for that enormous gift.

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    Betsy September 4, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    that’s such a great question, I can’t wait to buy the magazine and share it with my mom!

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    Amanda September 4, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    I’m going to ask my mom to give me away at the alter :)

    The nicest thing she’s ever done for me is buy me a new lap top for college. I never asked and I had bought my own laptop a few years earlier. I was definitely at the point where I just didn’t ask for things and paid my own way. I remember lamenting that my laptop was overheating and shutting off and how I couldn’t wait to afford my own Mac book because I was sick of windows. Out of the blue she just asked “is it ok if I buy you a new computer?” Yeah beyond generous. I’ve slowly been trying to repay her for her generosity over the years.

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    Cathy September 4, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    Wow, Tina, you have a gem of a mother there, she is really
    awesome. I cannot imagine being a single mom with 2 jobs let alone
    going to all the events. We should all aspire to be like that. I
    hope some day my daughters will have nice things to say about me.
    You did good in the husband department as well.

    Reply

    Katie September 5, 2013 at 1:33 am

    Love this post:) My boyfriend was also 2 years older than
    me, and when he moved away I was in the same boat as you were (a
    wreck!)….but now I’m married to him and have an 8 week old little
    girl with him! The nicest thing my parents have done for me was
    take out an extra mortgage on their house to help me get through
    college…..not to mention provide me with all the love required to
    mold a well rounded loving person (I like to think so
    anyway!).

    Reply

    Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner September 5, 2013 at 6:45 am

    Such a great post!

    When I was having a hard time financially one summer, my dad left a note in my apartment with a $100 bill inside. The note said “Someone once gave me $100 when I was having a rough time, so I’m paying it forward. Your friend, Dad.”

    I think it was the “your friend” part way more than the money that made me sentimental. I still have the note!

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    Tina September 5, 2013 at 6:46 am

    Aww, that’s sweet!

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    Lindsay September 5, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    What a sweet post! You have a lovely family.

    I owe my parents SO much, and I hope to “repay” them someday by following their example and being a loving, supportive and encouraging parent to my own kids.

    They’ve done too many nice things to count- raising me, putting me through college, flying to NZ to visit me during a semester of study abroad, paying for my wedding- but there is one particular memory that really stands out for me.

    I went through a few rough months one year in college. I lost a lot of weight, became overly rigid with work and my studies, and withdrew from social obligations. A few of my friends and family members expressed mild concern, but I always shrugged it off. No one strongly pushed me to address it and get help- except for my mom. I remember her coming to my room one night over winter break and demanding- borderline yelling- that I seek help. She knew it wasn’t just a phase and recommended counseling. I am SO grateful to her for that tough love approach, and without her involvement I don’t think I would have ever had the courage or motivation to fix things myself. What was just a few bad months in college could have easily spiraled into something much worse.

    That example might not exactly sound “nice”, but I think it was an incredible moment of parenting.

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    Michelle@sugarplumcupcake.com September 5, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    I have wonderful parents too, and they have done oodles of really kind things for me, but the best gift they have ever given me is the ability to fail and a safe place to do it. Giving me the courage to try new things even though I’ve been afraid.

    Reply

    Monica September 5, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    It’s funny to read this post because I just had a conversation with my mom about how she always took me out to lunch on the last day of school, to celebrate the end of school and kick off summer. In kindergarten she took me to a local restaurant with homemade ice cream and apparently I just kept telling her I wanted to go to Friendly’s!

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    Kristi September 6, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    My parents watch my daughter when I work. They have been doing it for 11 years, so that my daughter didn’t have to go to daycare ever.

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    L Taylor September 6, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    I got pregnant my senior year of college. My mom moved across the country {from TX to NY} so I could not only finish my senior year, but also complete my MBA. While I was pregnant she gave me a small pillow with a prayer tucked inside. I remember it being so comforting at such a scary point in my life. I still keep the pillow on my bed.

    Reply

    Mika September 7, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    I had to laugh out loud at your mom saying “no backsies”, that is too funny. I grew up with a single mother as well! She’s so great, I wouldn’t have changed our situation for the world. Although, I know she had to work very hard and many was always tight. So needless to say, she’s done too many nice things for me to count.

    Reply

    sarah @makingitmyhome.blogspot.com September 8, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    LOVE this post!!! after a few years of not speaking with my family, including my mother, we have begun the process of rebuilding our relationships. my relationship with my mother has changed, and in a lot of ways, for the better now that we can have an “adult” relationship. the nicest thing my mother ever did for me was to be a part of that process

    Reply

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