A little over two years ago, I found out I was going to have a new sibling. At 16, that came as a shock. While happy about it, I never expected how much my life would change upon my younger sibling’s arrival. Now, with my baby brother Mateo at 18 months, I have a newfound appreciation for my parents.
I came to the United States from Colombia at six years old and my prevailing memories from Colombia have one common denominator: family. While I obviously do not remember a lot from Colombia, what I do remember is being surrounded by relatives. There was always the presence of numerous cousins, aunts and uncles. Here, while we do have some family, it is not the same, and I can not thank my parents enough for leaving so much of their lives behind to be here for us.
I have always been thankful for them, but now the tireless effort that they display when taking care of my baby brother makes me see them in a whole different light. They are up at any hour of the night, caring for my brother and finding new ways to entertain him, and even when they get home from work and Mateo runs to them as he hears the door, they don’t complain about how tired they are, but instead are just happy to be with him.
With the expenses of prom, graduation and college coming up, instead of complaining about them, they have helped me with every step, pushing me to find what is right for me. While they have always pushed me towards success, they have never pushed me towards something that would make me unhappy and have never not shown unending support, even when I have been difficult to deal with.
With the high school chapter of my life coming to an end soon, I was feeling pressure to figure out what it is that I was going to do. After waving off my family’s questions for the past four years, coming into senior year I thought I was going to have to just decide. Instead, after talking to my parents, and telling them I was still unsure, they completely understood. They did not push me into anything, and reassured me they are happy with me as long as I choose a path that I will be content in.
While my family is nowhere near perfect, I would not change anything about them. They are not only my biggest supporters, but my friends. My dad will always be there to pick me up after I fall and my mom will always be there to talk to in the midst of a crisis. My sister is one of my best friends and, even though we argue everyday, when situations get serious or we need to vent, we are always there for each other. And my brother, while still young, always lights up my day, just with his laugh.
Because of all of this, I wanted to make my last editorial a “thank you” to them, and while nothing I do will ever be more than what they have done, I want them to know what they do does not go unnoticed or unappreciated. I am incredibly thankful for the family I have and will always strive to making them proud.
While this was about family, I think friends are chosen family and it would be remiss not to thank them as well. I could not get through life without having my friends by my side. When I need a laugh, or need to escape the chaos of my life, I know I can always go to them. No matter what, when I’m with them, they know how to get me out of what I’m dealing with, whether it is by making me air out my feelings or by completely distracting me. They are there for me, through thick and thin, and will not judge me for my decisions, even if it is obvious I’m making the wrong one. They have helped me preserve my sanity and for that I am also eternally grateful.