The moment you become a parent, everything about your life changes; you enter a spiral of feelings, fears, responsibilities, excitement, unconditional love and sudden wisdom, and you have no idea how to handle it all. But you do it anyway. And guess what? It all ends up being amazing.
One of the most striking things about raising a child is that you feel like it’s your duty not only to love them more than life (which you would, anyway) but instill them with values and cautionary tales that will help them lead a better and healthier life.
If I were ever able to write my younger self and tell her stuff about life that I’ve learned, I would’ve; and I am sure that, with that letter in her hands, she (me) would turn out a whole lot different. Since I can’t do that – I did the second best thing – I wrote a letter to my oldest kid.
There are a few things I want to tell you, and I thought it’d be best if I wrote some of it down so you can stash it away and read it from time to time.
Ok, here it is…
Watch who your real friends are
People disappoint, and that’s the rule number one to learn. Not everyone with a pretty face is nice, nor is everyone with an ugly one a disappointment. Not everyone is honest, nor do people always wish you well (despite claiming so). Learn to trust yourself before you trust others. Follow your instincts, your brains, your reasoning. Be smart about building friendships because they, at the same time, can be a snake’s pit and a flower blossoming. Weight things twice, always.
Don’t take people for granted
When you are loved and appreciated, never take it for granted. Simple as that.
Don’t let yourself suffer
There will be times in life when you’ll be misunderstood, when your loved one will leave you (or you’ll leave them), when teachers at school won’t appreciate your efforts or your colleagues at work will want to frame you for being better…and it will hurt. Do take in all emotions, process them and let them go. Don’t let yourself hold on to grudge, sadness or any other negative emotion – they will only burden your beautiful soul.
Work hard for your dreams
When someone says you can’t do something – prove them wrong and do it. Be the best you can in everything you feel is worth fighting for. Show the world what you are made of.
Believe in love
When you become a teenager, there’ll probably be robots and cyborgs and holograms and whatnot around, taking away all the beauty of human flawed life. Still, no matter the world you grow up into, please never stop believing in love – the love for yourself, us (your parents), your siblings, love for your work and your goals, the love for your husband/wife, one day. Love will always be the thing, you know?
Be you, no matter what
Your genetics, the way you’ll be brought up and the interests and (dis)likes you’ll pick up along the way will shape your personality; learning who you are is a never-ending process you’ll, at the same time, enjoy and be terrified of, all the time. No matter what you are feeling, always find ways to express yourself – whether it’s through your fashion style, the books you read, the way you smile, the arts and crafts you do or the aspirations you’ll end up having.
Learn to hear me out… but don’t let me change you
We’ll have arguments and disagreements, no doubt – like you want to purchase Marie Turnor designer fashion backpack and I’m forbidding it (because you’re too young even though I’m siding with you – it’s fabulous) to huge disagreements like forbidding you to go on a date with that cutie, or canceling your trip to Europe because you skipped classes five times in a month.
Sometimes, I’ll be right (at least while you are growing up); other times, you will. Whichever the case, please, don’t be stubborn and let me give you some advice. I’ve been there, you know? In your skin. I already did it all… and I want to help you. Still, if you start feeling like I’m going too strong, talk to me. Don’t ever let me change you. Me, or anyone else.
Don’t rush into marriage/relationships
There’ll be people you’ll think are The One when they’ll be so wrong for you (and that, you’ll realize later). Let your heart guide you but don’t always let it decide on things. Don’t rush into things just for the things alone. Make your “The One” fight for you and show you how serious they are. But you’ll talk about this topic more with your dad when he comes back home from work.
For now, this is it.
I’m sure I’ll write more, on another occasion.
I love you more than myself, to the Moon and back.
…Admit it, you are thinking of writing one yourself to your kid, aren’t you? And you should!