I'm grateful for my parents. I could go toe to toe with anyone and argue my parents are the best ever. But, this weekend, I am specifically grateful for a three things that I can directly trace back to how I was raised: loving broccoli, hating video games, and enjoying chores. Broccoli: I'm the oldest of four kids. Some where in my formative eating years, no one told me that I had a choice as to whether I could like or not like food. The thought never really crossed my mind. If food was placed in front of me, I was taught to say 'thank you' and dig in. As such, I love broccoli and I'm willing to try just about anything (see: chinese chicken feet)
Video Games: As a product of the 80s, the original Nintendo started popping up at friends' houses around the neighborhood and my buddies dressed up as Mario and Luigi for halloween. I never really made a big push for having my own NES and would from time to time sneak over to a neighbors garage to play Skate or Die. But, I was never any good and went back to collecting baseball cards. All through high school and college I was the guy you didn't want on your team for Golden Eye or Halo. But, when it is all said and done, being good at video games would serve no real purpose in my life and I was okay with having lived out differently whatever hours I would have devoted to having better first person killing skills.
Chores: Some where along the way, my Mom and Dad created the "Ellwood Chore Chart." It broke down 10 different household chores into clusters and based on what day of the week it was, my siblings and I could go to the Chore Chart and see what our responsibilities for the day were. Knowing what was expected of us each day made it easy to get into a rhythm and we all got really good at quickly attacking the dishwasher, trash, or vacuuming around the house so we could go do what we wanted. Now on our own, I know for a fact that all my siblings and I can still clean circles around most of our contemporaries.
There are a ton of other reasons that my parents are awesome, but those were the ones I was reminded of this weekend while eating broccoli, not playing video games, and mopping my kitchen floor.