April 5, 2018
I remember the day I learned I was pregnant with you. It was on the heels of the doctor telling me I wasn’t going to get pregnant “this time.” I told him that I didn’t care and was going to keep trying. Then when we got the news, I knew you were meant to be.
The day you were born it was a beautiful spring day which had turned a bit cold with (a few) added light snow flakes. It reminded me of the challenge of each season – one trying not to leave and the other trying to push its way in. Obviously, the challenge of life – loving the past and looking toward the future. The trick – however, is to stay in the present.
There is no question that I’ve made my share of “mistakes,” in life and with you three. But I have not one regret. And I don’t really see them as mistakes – but just part of the process … whatever that process is. Think about life that way.
On this rite-of-passage day, I do have a bit of advice – tidbits for life – to share with you; these are the things I try to lean on in my life. Don’t feel like you need to follow any of it … but you never know what might resonate!
- Know you are loved. There is nothing more important in life as love. You know that my motto is “I love love.” And it’s true. You can be broke, feel sick, be sad, but if you have love – it can fill you up like nothing else. When you feel lonely or maybe in the dark – know that we love you. Know that there is love in your life. It will carry you through.
- Love yourself. I struggled with this for many years. We all do at some level. But you were created for a reason with your unique characteristics. Appreciate them – even the ones you don’t like. Someone else will love those parts of you and you should too.
- Be grateful. Every day I remind myself how lucky I am to be here. To have you and your brothers. To have food and water. Appreciate the little things and the big things as well. We are so lucky no matter what we have (or don’t “have”).
- Be in the moment. There is a cute commercial with a dad walking like a monster with his kids wrapped around his ankles – laughing and squealing. He’s in the moment with his children. I remember those days like they were yesterday. Moments come and go but the only way to “slow down time” – as your brother would like to do – is to be present in each moment.
- Don’t gossip about others. Try hard not to criticize other people. They are struggling too. I don’t like to be around people who gossip about others and I really try to remind myself of the importance of this notion. When I do find myself gossiping I stop myself in my tracks and quietly apologize to that person in my mind. They don’t deserve it and I want to be better than to talk about someone’s life without them being there.
- It’s your life. It has been for a while. I’ve just been here as a backstop (and still am!). Enjoy the space to make your own decisions. It’s one of the cool things about life.
- No decision is a bad decision. You will be faced with a series of choices in life. These can be agonizing. Get advice. Seek out those you respect. But know that no decision is a “bad” one. Each one will take you to just the place you are supposed to be.
- Work hard. Be focused. You will appreciate it when you look back. Use your work ethic to make a difference while you’re here. (But don’t spend too much time working … there are no extra GF brownie points in the end for overtime!)
- Choose health. Sometimes you will have this as a choice. You’ll never go wrong by choosing your health (whether mental or physical) over something else.
- Don’t let things sit. Don’t allow tough problems or tasks to sit because they seem overwhelming. Jump in. Procrastination will steal your precious time – even when you think it doesn’t.
- Put your family on the top of the list. We are here for you with no strings attached. Even when we are incredibly frustrating – and I know we are!
- Smile. Smile on the outside. Smile on the inside. It will make you feel happy and will do the same for others.
So, my baby girl – it’s with tears in my eyes and love in my heart that I say – Happy 21st Birthday. There is no one like you. I’m so glad you chose me for this life time!
P.S. Don’t forget to call me once in a while!