first of all, the world is a big BIG place. it can be scary. it can be fun. it can be overwhelming. i hope that we will be good guides for you. and i am sure i will add to this list as time goes on, but for now there are a few things that i really want you to know…
1.) i will not be able to give you EVERYTHING, but whatever i do have, is yours. i know your daddy and i can give you a lot. i know we have a lot of love. and we live in this great city, so many things will be at your disposal. but i can’t promise you a pony on your birthday or a car on your 16th birthday. i can however promise you a loving home and an open door; all the necessities. a hand to hold. a shoulder to cry on. a safe place. i can promise you that anytime you need me i will be there. i can promise that anything i able to give you, i will.
2.) i am not your friend. sorry buddy, I love you already more than you’ll ever know, but I’m your mom. I’m not your bff. And my mommy hood will often conflict with what you want to do or the ways you want to behave. Just know that discipline is a form of love and boundaries are a form of mercy. Those two things come from moms and dads, not friends. And you’ve got a mom and a dad*
3.) you can tell me anything. and i really mean this. my father said to me when i was old enough to understand. he said i could at anytime tell him “anything about anything” and not get in trouble. there are times sweet baby, that you will be in trouble. some things in life may be a struggle and you might feel lost. i do not want this for you. if you ever reach a road that you think is a dead end and you can’t figure out how to turn around, you can tell me. no matter what. i want to be someone you can trust. i will always figure out a solution for us, and i will always love you. when you hit that point when you are coming home from school thinking “mom is going to kill me” (and you will, trust me…) just know that i won’t. we are always a family and we will always work things out.
4.) God loves you. His grace is sufficient. and prayer works. prayer is not an option nor is it a last resort when all other methods have failed. when man works, man works. but when man prays, God works. i hope you always know you can turn to God and lay your concerns at his feet.
5.) the cool kids won’t always be cool. perhaps this is the most nerve-wracking fear I have of being a mom (and it was one of MY mom’s biggest fears also. i never quite realized it until now). The friends. The peer influence. I will always be nervous that you won’t be able to find your voice above the crowd’s. But, sweetie, you have one. I want you to know that you are your own person. You will live by your own values and convictions and truth. Whatever you end up loving, whoever you spend your time with, I want you to know how to be kind. I want you to know how to say no. I want you to know that the “pressure” from the cool kids is temporary. They are only cool so long as people let them be. I hope you will want to redefine cool. (* i couldn’t find any better way to say this Lauren).
6.) you need to love books. and love to learn. the commitment to self improvement is one that should never end. there is something to be learned every day and you should drink in as much of the world’s wisdom as you can. education is a gift and a blessing and you should understand that. i pray you never make the mistake of falling into mediocrity. that you always strive to know more, and be better. i know first handed that this can happen, and easier than you think. be better than me. be better than dad. just be better. we are doing all of this so that you have that chance.
7.) put others before yourself. you need to know that your life is not entirely your own. that we are put on this earth to serve each other & to serve God. you will learn in time that it is true. that selfless acts outlast selfish ones. and that good things happen to good people. we are going to be a family of givers*. you are meant to be a person that will give their time and talents any way you can. a person who can help. a person who can make a difference. i hope we teach you that.
8.) laugh every day. it is good for the soul. if i could choose one characteristic that would get you through life, it would be a sense of humor. don’t take yourself too seriously, enjoy each and every moment. your mom is a silly one, just like your grandma. we have the same spirit. i will try to make you giggle every day & show you this world is a wonderful place full of adventure. we will laugh. we will smile. and we will be silly. those days when i can get your dad to full bodied laugh, those are the best days of my life. there is nothing more special than seeing a smile on someone’s face. it’s infectious. you will see baby, you will see.
9.) you were born a Yankee, but… a part of you is from the south. you will grow up to know both sides of this nation. and hopefully world. i want you to know that there is MUCH more out there than our own backyard. you may have this Yankee blood in you but you also will have a southern soul. i hope that you know two homes. the one we live in and the one where summer stars in april. where macaroni & cheese is a vegetable. front porches are wide and words are long. where magnolias bloom, and y’all is considered a proper noun. the tea is always sweet. chicken is fried and biscuits come with gravy. everything is darlin’ and pecan pie is a staple. i pray you know both worlds, and that you value each for what they are. you are made from two people. there was along history before you. i hope you learn them both.
10.) fairy tales are true. true love is real. your father and i are living proof. we promise we will always love you, and each other. our family.
11.) everything happens for a reason. there will be times when you feel like the world has failed you. that God has failed you. that we have failed you. but rest assured little baby, God will not bring you to a place in your life without a reason. i never in a million years thought my life would bring me to NYC. but it did, and i met your dad here, and he changed my life forever. your past propels you into your future. your life’s direction will take plenty of dips and turns but i pray it always leads you back home. & that you always have faith that tomorrow is a new day; full of promise.
12.) be kind. that’s it really. just be kind. there is nothing else more important*
13.) your father is a great man. i love him from his head to his toes. in his entirety. for exactly who he is. he has enriched my life ten-fold. he will always protect you. just as he has protected me. he’s going to make you so happy. he’s going to be so proud of you. your father is strong, tough and as manly as they come… but he is also compassionate, kind, honest and has a good heart. those last things are just as important as the first for men. he loves you already. you are blessed to have him.
14.) always be willing to sacrifice what you are for what you could become. another gem from my father. your grandfather is another great man. he always told me this growing up. i never quite appreciated it until i was older, i hope that you are wiser than i am. but i want you to know that you should never be so comfortable in your life that you miss an opportunity. when you set goals for yourself don’t let anything get in the way. sometimes the things you want at the moment will seem more important than the things you want long term, but this is never actually the case. it takes a brave and ambitious person to make such sacrifice. i hope that you learn this. and that you chase those dreams.
15.) let your life preach louder than your lips. people will form opinions of you. that is inevitable. they may be good and they may be bad. but let the perceptions of you be guided by your actions. do good things. be a good person. be gracious. i hope you realize that everyone you meet is fighting their own battle. your final judgement’s will be made based on the life you lead. i will do my best to guide you in the right direction.
16.) family is the only constant. this is something that has taken me many years to realize and appreciate. baby, i hope you go through life knowing that you family will always be there for you. that no matter how “cool” you think you are or how big your britches get (yes britches… your great grandma can tell you about those) the only thing in your life that will always be there, is your family. friends come and friends go. but when you reach places in your life when you think the sun burned out, your family will swoop in and save you, even if you have neglected them more than you should have. i want you to please, PLEASE take time to love each and everyone one of them. listen to the stories they tell you, even if they seem long winded and all you want to do is talk on the phone to your BFF, or go on facebook (you’ll learn that too i’m sure). us, the mom and dad, you will most likely resent us at certain points in your life, see point #2, but know this… we always have your best interest at heart. you’ll hear it time and time again, and one day it will stick. your grandparents, are amazing amazing people! your daddy & i are lucky to have two sets of still married parents (which is rare in this day and age) and they have made great examples for us. they were great parents to us, and they have guided us to this point where we are about to be parents ourselves. your Wilson grandparents i can tell you much more about, my parents. they will do anything for you. and i mean anything. if you wanted them to climb mt Everest, they’d train for it. they have given me everything i could have ever asked for + some. you grand mother will no doubt spoil you + teach you about basketball. you will be a basketball fan little baby. your grandfather is so full of wisdom you won’t really even understand it at first. but listen to him. he isn’t often wrong. and your Williams grandparents have raised your daddy to be the man that i love. your grandma will certainly spoil you also, at christmas you won’t be able to see over the mound of toys im sure! she will always have your back. and your grand father he will make sure you are taken care of. he will play with you until YOU are tired, not until he is. they will put you on a pedastool. please don’t take them for granted, b/c before you know it, they could be gone. grandparents are full of wisdom, love and they will spoil you rotten. siblings… well we aren’t there just yet 🙂 but if we get there, respect and love your sibling as you do yourself. they will be there through everything. you can spill your secrets to them, they will protect you and they will always have your back. it is a rare bond to be connected to someone on that level, where you don’t need or require anything from each other. you just always know you’ll take care of the other, no matter the cost. great grandparents, you are lucky that you have one left. the others have come and gone & would have really loved to have met you. but you have one, cherish her. listen to her crazy antics & let her give you kisses even if they are slobbery and get lipstick all over you. because the day that you realize you can’t do that any longer you will miss it. your cousins!! you have cousins sweet baby! i never had any so this part is a little hard for me to comment on, but your daddy has some, they grew up together. & i hope that is what will happen for you. keep them close to your heart, learn from each other, and grow together. love your family baby. b/c we all love you.
17.) we love you. so much more than you can imagine. you are still not even here yet and i love you. i talk to you daily and i hope that you can hear me and will know my voice. i hope my voice will always be one of comfort to you. you are the beginning to our adventure. we love you.
(* thank you to Lauren Peck of COMMITTED for a lot of this advice and knowledge. she is much more blessed w/ the writer’s gift than i am. read her. and read her often.)