A decade ago, you made me become a mother. These past 10 years have been the most rewarding and challenging of my life. I’m emerging as a wiser and admittedly much more tired person.
We’ve been through so much together, including late night feedings, surgery, learning to walk and talk, stitches, years of asthma treatments and mid-night vomiting. But we’ve also had so much cuddling, girl time, baking, shopping, exploring of literature and adventures.
As I look forward to the next 10 years, though, we really have our work cut out for us. The teen years are sure to be challenging, and this is what I want you to know before we enter those years.
- My love for you is unconditional and never ending. We are sure to have some impressive arguments as we move forward, and we will likely get angry at each other. But we must always remember the love that binds us and make sure we talk through our differences and are quick to apologize.
- I always have your best interest in mind. Sometimes you will think that I’m the strictest mother on earth, but it’s because I have a plan for you – one that involves you living out your dreams. Helping you achieve those dreams will likely involve me having to set limits to protect you. I used to think my parents were the most old-fashioned and strict parents ever. When I got to college, I realized the wisdom in their ways. I’m going to have to be your parent first, and your friend later when you’re an adult.
- People can be mean, but you can always control your reactions. You never know what happened to someone to make them lash out at you. Always give them the benefit of the doubt and offer them kindness in return.
- But don’t be a doormat. Don’t let your peers boss you around and tell you what to do. It’s OK to stand up for yourself and to tell people you don’t want to do something or that you’ll choose your own friends thankyouverymuch.
- School is very important. Education will open so many doors for you, and will give you many options in life. Take it seriously, as it is your foundation to a life in which you will build your dreams and make them come true.
- Find what makes you happy, and do that a lot. This is your passion, and do your best to work it into your life plan. Right now, you love acting and dance, and I will support you 100% in building these skills. But please refer back to #5, as your passion might not always be what helps you earn a living.
- You are beautiful, and what makes you beautiful is your kindness and loving attitude with others. Physical beauty won’t last, but people will always remember how you make them feel. Stop taking selfies and start thinking about what you can do for others.
- Make this world a better place. Start small – can you help out a friend? Show kindness to a stranger? When you add up a bunch of small acts of kindness, you are changing the world around you. Although our culture will teach you that life is all about what you own and how you look, I challenge you to rise above that and remember the goal is to leave each place you visit a bit better because you were there.
We’re in this together, my dear. You are one of my life’s greatest blessings, and I’m excited to see what our next decade together will bring.