For your birthday, send your parents a thank-you card
My mom is definitely my best friend. I can talk to her about everything (and I do); she's the one who encouraged me to use birth control, who told me why she hated my old boyfriends, and who isn't afraid to tell me if I'm being rude.
We didn't always get along perfectly. Sure, I was an angelic adopted Asian child when I was younger, but once I hit high school, I was a terror for no apparent reason. I dated unruly guys, I tried out all sorts of stuff, and I talked back like no one else. (At least my grades were still good, and I never tried drugs!)
Now that I look back, I feel so sorry for my poor mother, who had to deal with the brunt of my behavior, as my dad was at work most of the time. However, I'm happy with the fact that I was able to realize how much effort she put into parenting and what a great job she did... before I had my own kids. Maybe not to the same extent, but now that I talk to her more, I can see how the things she did worked, even though I didn't appreciate them at the time. (Some of them I still don't appreciate... man, she is good at guilt trips!)
So with this genuine appreciation and gratitude, I felt more compelled to do something I only heard about recently: send your parent(s) or guardian(s) a card on your birthday.
Yeah, you look forward to a card or a call on your birthday from family and friends, but why not remind your parents what a gem they have in you by giving THEM a card on the wonderful day. I mean, it should have been a great day for them: the day of your birth, when their wonderful child came into the world. You're still wonderful, right? You are capable of showing your parents you are thinking of them? You're grateful to be alive and happy... and you can have your parents to thank.
I didn't send a card, but I did give my mom a call and tell her "thank you" for everything. I do tend to do this often, or at least compliment her on the way she handled things when they got tough. I think she really likes it every once in a while.
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