I am watching you sleep right now. Not a care in the world. So peaceful. When you wake up everything will be exactly as you left it – superbear in one hand and mommy right beside you. You will wake up with a smile, as you usually do, and we will play, as we usually do. I hope for this peace and happiness for you to carry on as you become more aware of your world. The world can be such a tough place. I pray your spirit is strong and your convictions deep. These are a few things I want you to know:
1. Be you. Unapologetically you. If you love something others tease you about, love it harder. At the end of the day, be someone with confidence in who you are. There is only one of you and no one is allowed to say that the perfection that is you is weird/strange/different.
2. Stick up for others. When you see someone else being teased or if you hear of someone being spoken about badly, have the courage to stop it. It may not win you cool points with those doing the teasing, but you have affected the life of the person you stood up for more than you know.
3. Try new things. I hate onions. HATE onions. The thought of onions makes me cringe. Time to time I will try something new with onions in it on the off chance that maybe it will be something that I love. I would have gone my whole life without it! (status update: still hate onions)
4. Learn a talent. The beauty of the arts is it helps nourish a different side of you. One that is often neglected in children. Try many different instruments. Paint. Sing. Act. Write. CREATE.
5. Nothing in life that is right is easy. Do it anyway.
6. Call your grandparents. They have loved you before they knew you. Call them.
7. Explore your new world, but come home. You will have many adventures in wonderful places, but come home from time to time. I love you. I need to see you.
8. Laugh everyday. Even if you don’t feel like it.
9. Learn how to do chores. Yeah, they suck. No one likes them. Do them anyway. It will make you a better roommate, friend, and spouse. It will also make you more self sufficient.
10. Be independent. Take heart in your ideas and what you want to do. This is your life. If you want to do something. DO IT. (Unless it hurts you. Then you answer to me, punk.)
11. If you can brighten someone’s day – do it.
12. Leave the house. In the age of technology and way too much TV, it is really easy to stay inside all day. (Your dad and Pop Pop will disagree with me here because they LOVE technology.) GO OUTSIDE. Some of my best memories from childhood and beyond are adventures I took outside. Things I found. Stuff I made up. Mud pies I put in mom’s fridge. (Don’t put mud pies in my fridge.)
13. Spend some time with God everyday. Just like all relationships, they don’t get stronger unless you see the person daily. God is the same way. Make an effort to spend time with him daily. It will be the best relationship of your life.
14. Call mom.
I love you forever. I can’t wait to see who you will be. What you will love. What you care about. Your hobbies. Your stories.