celebrating your 13th birthday has made me reflect and want to share some well-earned wisdom with you. i am no expert when it comes to parenting. i mess up a lot, i don't enforce rules and punishments as strongly as i should. sometimes i don't set good examples. and honestly, sometimes i feel like a total let down as a mama. but what i do have going for me is that i am lucky enough to have you as my little girl. you are growing up so fast and i often look at you and wonder where the time has gone. as much as i delight in watching you grow, sometimes i just want to yell "STOP!!". you are my baby, and you are getting closer to not being my baby anymore. as you grow into the beautiful young lady you are becoming, there are some things that i want to tell you.
I LOVE YOU!!!! and i cherish every thing about you! from the top of your beautiful head to the tips of the toes on your smelly feet, i love it all. from the moment you were born and i held you in my arms, i knew that you were going to be amazing!! you were so tiny and magnificent and i just knew that you were going to rule the world! you are smart and beautiful and you have a way about you, this calm, levelheaded way that i admire mostly because i don't know where it came from. you will always be my baby and you deserve to hear the words and feel the words I LOVE YOU AS YOU ARE every single day!
be grateful. gratitude will make every other part of your life better. it will make you more positive, you'll be a better student, you will make more of a difference in others lives.
be kind with your thoughts, gentle with your words, generous with your actions and forgiving with those who love you and fall short from time to time. none of us is perfect and more attention and gratitude should be given for trying. think before you speak, you will gain more respect with a well thought opinion.
don't put your energy into judging another but rather into being a good example for them to be.
know that failing is a required curriculum to life. without it, it is doubtful that you will ever truly succeed. don't be afraid of it. you don't have to like it, you just have to get good at it. you will always learn from your mistakes.
don't ever do drugs. they will destroy you and the relationships you have. they will make you feel ashamed, alone and lost. don't ever give in to this. a friend who offers you drugs is not a good friend. no good ever comes from taking drugs and they will make your life unhappy. they will make you feel bad about yourself and cause many regrets for what could have been. JUST SAY NO!! say yes to your dreams, to an education. to experiences that will make your heart full and your future rewarding. i know that sometimes you hate my rules, but just remember that my rules love you. my rules i set for you have nothing to do with pride or power, but they are rooted in love and safety. take chances. be bold. be silly. It's ok. living in the box has never been where the magic happens. align yourself with the unordinary, the risky and the spectacular. it's where you were born to be.
friendships and popularity are not the same thing! i know this is a struggle for a girl your age. you want to be accepted and liked. friends will come and go, but the good ones stick. value them. and while family will always come first, never lose sight of those friends that have seen you through some of life's roughest times. you will need them again, and they, you.
love your family. we would like to think that our family is forever, but it's not. we grow old, we get sick and we die. it's the natural course of things. we are just visitors here. make sure that you don't pass up too many offers to spend time with family, to laugh, joke, sing, dance, play, eat, drink and make memories. you will treasure those memories, and one day they will be all that is left.
i am the biggest fan you will ever have! i value your opinion. you are important. and as you grow, i want to be sure to tell you to make the right decisions based on thoughtful consideration and wise judgement instead of emotions. i will always be here for you, to listen to you, to share my experiences. i will continue to encourage you to so that you know that you can be anything you set your mind to. there will be times that you find yourself impatient or angry with me, but please understand that i am doing the best i can and for all the right reasons... for the love of you. at times, i know we can be exasperating. but there will never be anyone that walks this earth that loves you like your mama. respect it. it will one day be you.
as for me, my precious, wonderful daughter, i have loved you with all of my being since the moment you were born. being your mother hasn't always been easy, but it has always been good. before I end my euphony of wisdom, let me say thank you. for so much. for your loyalty, your choices, your sweetness, kindness, compassion and humor. for trying even when you didn't think you could make it. for making me proud every single day that you live. i know that you're not perfect…none of us are. but truth be told, to me, you are pretty damn close. spread your wings, take the world head on and be strong. read books, laugh often, cry when needed, lick the bowl, use good mascara, have fun, stand up for what is right, complain less, be grateful more, find beauty on everything, work hard, apologize, return love, never break a promise. be the strong, independent young woman you were born to be and you will never feel alone in this world. you will always have me and you will always be my baby.
i love you so much, my sweet baby jaymes!!!!
26 january 2014