I don’t really want to think about my girls as adults. It makes me want to cry. I’m doing my best to live in the moment and not be sad about them growing up so fast. I’ve actually written two letters to Emily before. One of them was written about a week after she was born and I was a hot mess – so I’m not sharing that on the blog. I don’t know if I’ll actually ever share it with her. But I’m a little bit more sane now, and after having Caroline almost three (ohmygod) months ago, I feel like I’m at a place where I can think about their futures and write down my hopes, dreams & advice for them. I’d really like to make this a yearly thing and see how my letters change as they grow into the people they’re going to be. So here goes...
When I picture you as an adult, I see a beautiful, confident and successful young woman. You are sometimes shy, but always friendly. You speak to everyone you meet, even if they don’t realize you are talking to them (and you get upset if they don’t talk back to you). You know what you want and you don’t rest until you get it. You love to help other people, and love to share. You are so creative and have such an active imagination. You are such a wonderful big sister – so gentle, so loving and helpful – I know one day that will translate into you being a wonderful mother. I can see you being a teacher or in some type of leadership position – you like to be in charge! You are a very good listener and I know you will be a great friend.
It’s hard for me to picture you as an adult because you are still so young. At almost three months, you don’t have much of a personality yet. But you are a very good baby. You love to smile and you love it when Emily talks to you and tickles you. I look forward to watching you grow like I watched your big sister. I know you will be very different from her, but you will most likely have a few things in common. I hope that you do. I think you will have a great sense of humor, and judging from your demeanor now, I think you will be a bit more laid back than your sister. But you are also a very determined little girl – even at this age. If you don’t like something, you make sure to let everyone know.
Remember that you don’t have to do everything your sister does. It’s ok to be competitive, but remember to make your own path. Take any comparisons to Emily (or anyone else for that matter) with a grain of salt. Let her teach you things, but know that there will be things you can teach her.
I look forward to the next letter I write to you – when I’ll know you a little better!
To both of my girls:
I hope that you cherish each other – you will undoubtedly hate, be jealous of, and possibly even resentful of each other at some point in your lives, but I know that those times will be greatly outnumbered by the times when you are thankful you have a sister, and I hope that you will eventually become great friends. Remember to build each other up; be supportive and proud of one another.
I hope that you never sell yourselves short. If you want something, go for it. Don’t stop until you make your dreams come true. Don’t be afraid to change your mind. It’s ok if you fail, as long as you never give up. You don’t have to be anyone else’s version of perfect. You are perfect at being YOU.
Don’t be fake to make friends. Don’t be judgmental, and please don’t be a bully. Treat each person the way you want to be treated (regardless of what your feelings toward them might be, and regardless of the way they treat you). Be the bigger person – forgiving someone doesn’t mean you are weak or accepting of whatever wrong they did; it means that you would rather hold on to happiness than cling to hate. Life is too short for grudges.
Don’t be a gossip. Be the friend that people want to confide in. And, if a person tells you other people’s secrets – they won’t keep yours either. Choose your friends wisely – it’s OK to only have one friend, just make sure he or she is a good one.
Be kind, generous, and patient. Think before you speak and apologize if you do something wrong. Don’t worry too much about what other people think. People are going to like you or not – and if you have to make people like you, they aren’t worth your time.
Fall in love a million times, but be careful. Trust your gut feelings – they are almost always right. Don’t let anyone talk you into doing something you don’t want to do. And don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for any decision you make. Know that your Dad will never think any guy is good enough for you. Choose someone who treats you like a princess, but who values you as an equal. When you find the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, don’t expect marriage to be as easy as dating. Marriage is hard work, but it can be so rewarding. Just like anything else in life, if you want to be successful, you have to put everything you’ve got into it. It’s ok to throw your whole self into a relationship, just make sure that you stay true to the person you were when the relationship began. Be honest with your partner, and be honest with yourself. Don’t be afraid to disagree – talk, argue, and talk some more. Respect him. Make sure he respects you.
One day you will each have kids of your own. Remember that they didn’t ask to be born; they are a blessing and being a parent is the ultimate privilege. Everything you said you’d never do when you had kids? You’ll do it. And you may not be proud of it, but you won’t be sorry either. Parenthood is all about survival.
Try not to worry about things you can’t change. Accept the fact that you can’t fix everything and try to live peacefully. Don’t make so many plans that you forget to make memories. Try everyday to see the best in the world and in people. I love you and I am so proud to be your Mommy.