Colorado State University decided to do a lil’ something something extra for the class of 2016. The university asked parents to write letters to their kids, and then filmed the graduates reading the letters for the first time. Cue that swelling sensation you get before you cry:
They talked about their responsibilities as parents: "Dear Heidi, as a parent my role is to provide a launching pad and encourage you to reach for the sky."
And how impressed they were with the person their child has become: "You have grown to be a lovely woman, who I am very proud to say is my daughter and friend."
They also touched on their kids' unique qualities: "Your first word was bye, as in goodbye. From day one we recognized that you had a distinct vision, a fierce independence, and a strong will."
And how excited they were to see their graduate finding and forging their own life path: "More than pride, we feel joy — joy for your accomplishment and joy that you have found a path that fulfills you, gives you a sense of purpose, and uses your many gifts."
Some of the students were international, and did not have the luxury of seeing their parents very often: "We still remember how the first time you went to the USA all by yourself... we know that you must be scared... and we don't sleep until we know that you are already in your dorm."
Their words reminded us how important it is to a parent that their child feels wanted and accepted: "And when you told us how sad you were because you had no friends at all at first, it broke our hearts to hear that."
The parents also emphasized the fact that there is no "right" way to live life, and to believe that the bad times will not last forever: "In jazz there is no wrong note; it all depends on which note is played next...and that the discordant notes you will play from time to time all resolve in the end."
The students were very moved by their parents letters, and some were especially taken aback by the supportive words: "I never thought that he would talk these words to me... this is even more important than my graduation. I embrace this letter... I love him so much."
The experience served as a powerful reminder of that unconditional love a parent has for their child.