(Before my kids were born, I decided to keep a journal for each of them. Here’s my letter to my high school graduate)

June 4, 2015 – Graduation Day

Words aren’t enough to describe the depth of my love and admiration for you.

At Senior Sharing Night two parents said to me how mature, kind, and welcoming you are.  Not unusual – I’ve heard these comments for years about you.  You make a difference in people’s lives.  I hear you talk with strangers and wishing them a good day.  You share your energy and love with your friends and everyone around you.

The world is not an easy place to live – regardless of how much money and status you have.  Those that are successful and happy are those who show kindness, leadership and internal peace.  Those people make life better for everyone.  Don’t lose that part of you.

You’re an amazing role model for your brothers – especially the fact that you continue to stretch your intellectual muscles and stay positive, even when it doesn’t feel positive.  Be there for them.  They will be there for you.  You’re family.

Don’t allow negative judgments about people to get in the way.  Everyone needs warmth and love – even those who hurt us.  But, remember your healthy boundaries.

Please take care of your health.  You only have one body.  Your athletic drive (while admirable) must be tempered when your body is telling you to slow down.  You’ll see as you get older that your body is the one thing that you take with you until the end.

Love your body too.  It deserves it even when you don’t like it.  Nothing’s perfect.

Pay attention and be careful.  You’re moving away from home and it’s different.  People want things that you’ll want to protect.

Be true to yourself.  Be loyal to your friends, they’ll save your life more than once.

You’re going to see amazing changes over your lifetime.  These next 10 years of hard work will serve you well for the rest of your life and will provide future freedom.

You’ll find someone who loves you (and whom you love) to share your life with.  But, it’s also ok to be alone at times.  You’ll know when those times come.  Listen to your heart.

We’re here for you when you’re happy, when you’re down, when you’re feeling sick, when you’re celebrating, when you’re in love, when you’re hurt, or when you want to come home and have someone take care of you. Always and no matter what.

I’m sobbing as I pray that I’m given the opportunity to stay around long enough to see all that you’ll become.  I want to kiss your children, help you in your first house and laugh with you about “old times.” Right now you’re rolling your eyes but you know what I’m saying.  I love you.  I’m so proud of you and someday, you’ll be writing (while crying) the same things to your children.

Congratulations!  Enjoy this moment!

Love, Mommy (and the boys!)