I always said that I wanted three kids. I knew I was meant to be the mom to three . . . without a doubt! Shortly after No. 2 was born, I was almost certain that you weren’t “meant to be.” It was hard, but I tried to accept the fact that I was going to be running “man to man” with two kids as opposed to “zone” with three.
Then several years later . . . SURPRISE! There you were. And what a WONDERFUL surprise you were. Arriving the day before my 35th birthday, I forever dubbed you the BEST birthday gift ever!
You have made me smile at a time in my life when smiling was hard to do. You healed my heart after losing my mom to cancer. Oh, how my heart ached. But looking at you and the gift you had given me made me smile again.
Your dad and I showed you off with pride to everyone. Your brother and sister thought you were perfect, and so did I. We were a family of five . . . finally.
I watched you do everything with anticipation, knowing it would be the last time we would experience many things for the first time; your first smile, sitting up, crawling, walking, running, and more! I savored every moment — even those middle of the night feedings. Well, as best as one can savor being awakened in the dead of night to a wailing infant!
As you grew from infant to a toddler, I marveled at how much you changed. I snuggled with you as much as I could and tried my best to get time to just. stand. still.
And now you are leaving behind the pre-school years and becoming a “big kid.” Sure, you will always be my “baby,” but something tells me that you will transform so much once kindergarten starts.
I will no longer hear, “Momma, what does this say?” and “Momma, what letter does tree start with?” Instead, I will have another little being who is able to read the directions to his games and decide for himself which meal to order at a restaurant.
I will be turning you over to a new person, a teacher who will guide you, nurture you, and discipline you when needed. She will push you to achieve things you never dreamed would be possible. She will now be the one who gets to see your “firsts”: the first word you read, the first story you write, and more.
You will meet many new friends — and find out that some friends aren’t really friends at all. Choose friends that make you HAPPY. In turn, make them feel the same. Remember that while you don’t have to like everyone, you must be KIND. Everyone deserves kindness.
You will learn how to navigate the gigantic lunchroom with 100+ five-year-olds. You will have to open your own juice box and remember to not talk with your mouth full. While a school cafeteria is far from a five star restaurant, always use good manners. “Please” and “thank you” can go a long way.
There will be many ups and downs along the way. After all, that is “life.” You will fail at some things, mark my word. But that doesn’t make you a failure. Disappointments are hard to accept but will forever mold you into that person who learns from them and moves on. Be proud of your accomplishments. But don’t gloat. Be a gracious winner at all times.
You will try a million new things — and quickly find out what your passion is. Embrace it, and don’t run from it, for your passion is what fuels your soul. It will be what you look forward to in the future to fill that void in your day. It will be the one thing that reminds you why you chose the path you will one day follow.
And most of all . . . remember you are loved. Your dad and I want you to succeed, even if that means making mistakes along the way. At the end of the day, I will always be your soft place to land. I will celebrate each new accomplishment and sympathize with you when your heart aches. And I promise to always let you be YOU.
Dream big, love hard, and most of all, be kind . . . because kindness doesn’t cost a dime.
P.S. Don’t eat the glue. Everyone always remembers the kid who ate the glue.