I wasn't going to do one of these for my parents because it's so obvious, but it feels just as cheap to leave them out, so I suppose it can't hurt. Thanks, Mom and Dad. You sacrificed a lot and put up with a lot. There were times where I know we didn't see eye to eye, but you equipped me with the logic and reason and love and kindness that it takes to be a good person. It has never escaped me that though other kids may have had parents with more money or parents that let them get away with more crap, few have had parents that cared as much as mine.
Before I even started kindergarten my mom would buy me these workbooks and other educational things that they sold near the toy aisles in stores. I'd devour them relentlessly, and I made a lot of progress with reading, writing, and math. Looking back, I'm sure that we couldn't really afford them. We didn't have much money. We lived in my great-grandparents' basement next to a trailer park and paid $55 a month in rent. But I think that those lessons helped a lot: my parents' focus on encouraging me to learn things at my own pace probably set things up for my whole life.