Dad’s Amazing Graduation Gift to Daughter Took 13 Years to Make: ‘Oh, the Places You’ll Go!’

Brenna Martin with her giftBrenna Martin with her giftMany kids dream of being given a fat check, a laptop computer, or even a car when they graduate from high school. Although the gift that Brenna Martin received from dad, Bryan, cost less than a couple of movie tickets, the North Carolina senior wrote on her blog, "It is astounding to receive something this moving, touching, nostalgic, and thoughtful."

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Her father's gift was a copy of the Dr. Seuss classic 'Oh, the Places You'll Go!'-but inscribed by every single teacher, principal, and coach Brenna had encountered since she was five. After the graduation ceremony, dad handed her a bag with the book inside. "I thought I was getting some cheesy graduation card," she writes. "But what I received was something truly priceless." Initially, she thought the gift was just the book, but dad prodded her to open it up. "On the first page I see a short paragraph written by none other than my kindergarten teacher. I start tearing up…."

'Oh, the Places You'll Go' is a graduation classic full of encouragement and inspiration offered with typical Seussian whimsy:

"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go..."

Mingled with the rhymes on the pages were notes from all her "sweet teachers." Flipping through the book, Brenna traveled back to her small town elementary school where instructors remarked on her "pigtails and giggles." Flash forward to high school and comments on her "wit and sharp thinking." Somehow, over 13 years, Bryan Martin had managed to keep the project secret from his girl.

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About seven million people have read Brenna's blog post about this very special graduation present. She also linked to reddit where it has inspired others to start similar projects for their children. One reader commented, "This is such a wonderful idea! I'm expecting a baby this fall, and I think I'll put this on my list of parenting to-dos." Dad even responded online: "I cannot believe Brenna posted this... she has always been the light of my life. Doing this was just a small way of letting her know." Dr. Seuss would have approved.

What's the most thoughtful gift you've ever received? Please let us share in the comments below.

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