To my son on his birthday,
It’s still hard to believe that just eight years ago you came into my life. A quiet little baby, you were put into my arms; swaddled and still. I promised you on that day I would do everything in my power to protect you and help you grow into a man. I know it hasn’t always been easy, and we don’t always see eye to eye, but you have been my greatest love. Not a day goes by where I don’t think of how wonderful you are, and how lucky I am to be able to call you “son”. As I watch you grow I worry if I’m doing everything I can to teach you what you need to know, and to give you the love and support you need.
As a mother it is hard to let your children venture out into the world when you’re not holding their hand. What if something happens when I’m not around? Do you know what to do? Have I taught you enough for you to get by? The answer is, I don’t know. It’s not because I haven’t taught you, or that you’re not capable of doing it. It’s because the world is ever changing, and I will never be able to teach you everything there is to know about everything. The best I can do is to teach you the difference between what’s right, and what’s wrong; between love and hate; and to follow what you feel is best. It’s up to you to take what I have taught you, and use it in a way that will help you in any situation you may come across. I won’t always be by your side to guide you and hold your hand. I won’t always be there to kiss you goodnight or hug you good morning. But I will always be with you in spirit.
I know you’re only 8 years old, but I want you to remember these simple rules in life. They may not seem like much now (and not nearly as exciting as a new Lego set) but when you get older, they will get you through some of the toughest times.
- Always be yourself. Even if you are wearing a uniform alongside a thousand other people, no one can ever be you.
- Know who you really are. This may be one of the most difficult things in life to master.
- You’re not always right. When you’re wrong, admit it. Admitting you’re wrong is one of the bravest things you can ever do.
- Love with your whole heart. It’s going to hurt like hell when you lose love, but you can’t let that stop you from loving completely.
- Compliment often. Too many people in this world are too concerned with themselves, and don’t take the time to let others know they care.
- Appreciate those around you. I know it doesn’t seem like it now, but life is short. You never know when the person next to you will be gone.
- Be grateful for what you have. Always want the best in life, but don’t ever lose sight of everything you already have. Life itself is a gift, remember that.
- Say “Thank You”. It doesn’t matter if someone gave you a gift or just dusted a fly off your shoulder, say “thank you” and smile.
- Never forget where you came from. You can never change it, and it is what makes you who you are.
- Say I love you, even when you’re mad. When you wake up (because bringing in a new day with those you love is wonderful), when you go to bed (because one of you might not wake up the next morning), and most importantly, before you leave for the day (because death can come in the blink of an eye, it may be the last thing you ever say to them).
You are becoming such an amazing young man. I hope these rules will help guide you to be even more amazing. Never give up on yourself or stop believing you make a difference. I will love you to the end of time, and back. Happy birthday.