How many of you knew there was a National Parent’s Day each year? Yep, me neither. Insert small feeling of embarrassment when I can remember National Cupcake Day each year. That’s December 15 if you needed a reminder.
Ok, back to my main point. Former President Bill Clinton established National Parent’s Day back in 1994 (36 U.S.C. § 135). It recognizes “uplifting and supporting the role of parents in the rearing of children.”
The thing about Parent’s Day is that it looks so different for each person. I know for myself, my stepdad was one of the biggest impacts of my life. He was my dad, not my stepdad. He raised me and my siblings from the age of 1 ½. He taught me what unconditional love is. He loved three children who were not his own by blood. He taught us that respect is earned and that hard work is one of the few things we can control. He also taught me the most valuable lesson of all – that each person struggles with their own problems and the ability to wake up each day, and to be better than the day before is our own choice. I also learned that people will create an opinion about you without ever actually knowing you and it’s not your job to convince them differently.
Do you see the pattern of what he taught me? Responsibility of our actions. I had the ability to own my own actions and despite my upbringing being far from perfect, I had the ability to change my outcome despite my circumstances.
My dad wasn’t perfect and unfortunately we lost him at the young age of 52, but his impact will last me and his grandkids for generations to come. His birthday is in a few days and I have the amazing blessing that my second daughter was born on his birthday. We celebrate both each year.
Sometimes parents also come in the form of an aunt, uncle, grandparent, family friend or a friend’s parent. The ability to be a constant in the upbringing in someone’s life is what sets defining characteristics and moments. To make a personal investment to impact someone far beyond words is what creates bonds that last a lifetime.
On July 26 this year, be sure to celebrate Parent’s Day. However you choose to spend it, just take some extra time with your kids or parents or call, video chat or send a card in the mail. Whatever that looks like for you, it’s worth celebrating! Not just on a holiday or birthday.
Morgan Gunder is a community and broker liaison for Reid Health Allianceä. Born in the South and raised in the Midwest, she’s a wife and mother with a passion for traveling, learning and technology. Like this article? Feel free to respond to Morgan.Gunder@healthalliance.org. Thanks for reading!