People used to tell me once you had kids life would seem to move at a speed that you couldn’t even comprehend. When you’re 23, have a new baby, not sure where your relationship stands and simply trying to make ends meet, you find yourself almost wishing the days to pass on by. Instead they seemed to drag on back then. 15 years later and there are some things I want you to know my dear son. As I sit, reflect and look back now I admit I was wrong. I didn’t listen. I made a huge parenting mistake when I blinked and then I opened my eyes and you turned 15.
15 Things I Want You To Know
1. I will always hear you.
Even though your voice has changed, your first words, the way you giggled as a child and the sweet way you used to say Mommy is forever etched in my memory.
2. Some of the best things in life are unplanned.
Life doesn’t always work out the way we want or envision, but that doesn’t mean it still can’t be beautiful.
Keep that easygoing spirit and don’t be so hard on yourself when things don’t go your way.
3. Don’t ever apologize for being a kind and emotional man.
You have taught me so much over the years about the right way to treat people.
I am in constant awe at how you let people know you are their friend, and that they are needed in this world no matter what they might be going through.
4. Use your wings.
Out of all of the 15 things I want you to know, this is most important.
Yes, I gave you roots, but if there is one thing I made sure you had at a very early age it is wings. Use them often and keep exploring. There are so many beautiful, raw and eye opening places to see in this world and it is truly life changing.
Even though we are currently stuck on a vacation at home, one of my most memorable experiences was traveling to Amsterdam with you. I was so excited to watch you spread your wings last summer and travel to Europe without us.
5. Be yourself, no matter what.
You have grown up in the social media age of likes, comparisons, FOMO and more yet somehow you don’t follow the crowd.
Just keep on being original, unique and the best you that you can be.
6. Continue to treat women beautifully and respectfully.
Ever since you were a little kid I would get compliments from people on how you hold the door for others, let the girls go first and more. Don’t ever stop doing those type of things.
7. Always surround yourself with good people.
Good people are gems in life. Stick with those friends who pull the magic and not the madness out of you while letting you be yourself.
8. Keep smiling
You have a beautiful smile, smiling is contagious, plus you never know who is watching. You don’t want to look back years later and think why did I make a mean face when I was actually happy.
9. Ask for help as often as you need to.
Don’t ever let anyone make you think that asking for help is a sign of weakness.
Instead of trying to take on too many things yourself, be brave and know that it is perfectly ok to need help (unless it is with your laundry).
10. Own up to your mistakes.
I know you hear me say this often, especially the older you get. It says a lot about your character if you are able to admit you messed up, apologize and try to make things right.
11. Don’t ever forget your best friend, your sister.
Watching you two grow up together and your relationship evolve over the years is one of my greatest pleasures in life.
I remember when you used to come to my doctor appointments when I was pregnant just so you could listen to her heartbeat and know she was ok. Your sister is your longest friend in life and looks up to you more than anyone.
12. Write Letters
You have some of the nicest handwriting I know (remember you even received the best penmanship award in elementary school). Don’t leave all communication up to technology and give your eyes a break from screen time.
Take a few minutes and write a letter or send a postcard to really let someone know you are thinking about them.
13. Age is truly just a number.
There is no particular rule or timeline to doing things in life. Don’t ever let anyone rush you into something or make you feel like you are behind in life.
Good things happen when YOU are ready, not when other people say it’s time.
14. Personal hygiene is always your friend.
Remember, you want to be the kind of person (or at least smell like the kind) that people want to be around, not hold their nose and run away from. You can never be too clean or smell too fresh.
15. There is no place like home.
No matter how old you are and no matter where I may be in the world, I want you to know you can always come home.
You can never lose me in life, because I will always be there.
I have plenty more things to tell you Reece, but these 15 things I want you to know now.
Do more than just exist. Life is an adventure and it’s waiting for you so go find it and make the most of it.