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Sunday, May 14, 2017

Six Years After My Mother's Day Letter

In 2011, I wrote a letter via my blog to my children.  

Letter of Advice to my Children on Mother's Day

Over the last 6 years as they've transitioned to teenager & tweenager, they've knocked it out of the park.

Dear Skip & Zoey,

You know I haven't been blogging much lately since out of respect for you, I don't want to talk about your lives your lives online.  You also know I've been crazy busy.

I wrote you a letter in 2011 to give you advice, but this year I wanted to thank you for everything I've learned from you during a fairly rough period.

Be kind.
I told you to be kind.  This past year you've seen me get angry.  Angrier than I probably have in the past.  But thank you for reminding me to be kind. 

Skip, during the election, you told me that you were always proud that no matter how successful I had become or how much money I made, I never forgot where I came from and you were proud of ME for helping people less fortunate.  You said you were impressed that I never thought about myself when I voted, but of others.

I didn't tell you this, but that made me cry because at that very moment, I didn't think anyone noticed or cared.  At that moment, everyone seemed to want something else or more from me.  More time.  More money.  More everything.  I was really tired that day.

What you said, gave me the strength to get up and keep going.

Thank you.

Find something to smile about every day.
Zoey, about 2 weeks ago you told me to turn the news off.  You said "All it does is upset you.  Let's just listen to music."

You weren't telling me to put my head in the sand.  You were saying to take a breath and enjoy our time together on the way to school.

You told me I had my funny back last week.  You gave it back to me.  Thank you.

Stand up for what's right.
You both stood up to people who disagreed with you during the election.  You weren't jerks.  You still have friends that are on the "other side of the aisle."   You did it with class.  You didn't waiver.  In fact, we had some great conversations.

I've always told you to have your own opinions- not to parrot mine.  During our conversations, I have no doubt that you believe what you believe because of what you've seen, people you've met, what you believe in.  You are not parrots. 

You can think.  You don't cave in to peer pressure.

This gives me hope.  Thank you.

Show up with your A game when others are depending on you.
Zoey, your dedication to your school projects and working together with your friends has been amazing to see develop.  You take your projects to an entire new level. 

Skip, you decided to take the road less traveled next year for high school rather than take the easy way out.  I know you are nervous, but I know you won't regret pushing yourself.

And when I was struggling this year, you all (including Dad) had my back so I could get a little bit of a breather.  Thank you.

The last 6 years have been full of reading and talking about books.  You've been reading fiction, non-fiction-- even my favorite-- "MAD Magazine." 

You've gotten me to read new things as well.  Thank you.

Ask a lot of questions.
Thank you for always coming to me when you have a question or a concern.  Whether it's been school work, life question or about what to do with a friend.  You don't take anything for granted. 

Thank you for trusting me and more importantly, trusting yourself.

Participate in life.
Without a doubt, you've both embraced this.  I know that I've struggled to make sure you get to your clubs and practices and rehearsals and have everything you need-- and I know I've lost my cool more than once.

Don't let me discourage you!  Keep it up.  I'm so proud of everything you do.  Thank you.

You have both done this so eloquently and not let it slow you down.

You've also let me fail.  And you've never given up on me.  When I've had a bad day, you've both been there to be my cheerleader.  It's meant the world to me this year more than ever.  Thank you.

Be your own boss.
When I was contemplating my professional options this year, it was the two of you that both convinced me that there was no price worth me being an employee.  We all talked about how "Mom" there was to go around.  We all adjusted so that I could spend more fun time with all of you.

Zoey, your exasperation at the thought of me retiring early was hilarious. "What would you do?  You love your business-- that's crazy..." because at the end of the day, you're right.  No matter the price. 

Thank you for helping me stay on track.

Have fun friends.
The last few years, I got rid of a LOT of people.  Most of them didn't even notice.  I love that neither one of you suffer fools.  You taught me that it's important to be polite, but I don't have to be besties with everyone. 

Thank you.

When you get married, make it forever.
What a year we all went through.  All of us.  I am so sorry to drag you through some of it.  You watched Dad and me fight to keep it together.  You both made it clear that you had our backs no matter what.  I'm so sorry you had to go through the uncertainty of this past year.  But I think we all learned so much.  And now that we're back to silly and fun again, I can't thank you enough for hanging in.  A huge THANK YOU on that.

In short, you're both amazing and have made me a better person.

On this Mother's Day, all I can say is thank you!