My Dear Son – it’s your first birthday and this is what I want you to know…..
Today is your first birthday. Some would think that it’s far too soon to tell you these things but I have learned on countless occasions, that we just never know how much time we have left and I want to make sure that no matter what; you hear this from me.
My sweet boy, life is so good, but sometimes it is also so incredibly hard. I don’t believe we are meant to be happy all of the time. If we were happy all of the time, how would we learn to be grateful? How are we supposed to know great joy when we haven’t experienced deep sorrow? How do we have anything to compare happiness and the feeling of content with if we haven’t ever experienced horrendous pain and extreme discomfort?
Life is mostly good, but when it’s not, dig deep. Oh my sweet boy just dig deep as hard as you can because if you do, you will find meaning. You will find a reason to keep going and you will find that one glimpse of hope you need to get up out of bed, even just for one more day. Each day this will get easier.
I promise you, life is beautiful. It is all in how you choose to perceive and respond to your experiences.
My son, you are likely going to perceive some of your greatest lessons in your life to be punishments. At some point in your life you will ask yourself, “what have I done to deserve this?” In that moment I want you to ask yourself this, “what am I supposed to learn from this?”
You won’t always have the answer right away, and maybe you never will, and that is okay.
You are not being punished my beautiful boy. Every experience you have in your life is going to take you to the next one. You are going to realize someday that sometimes bad things have to happen in order for you to receive some of the most beautiful blessings.
You are an example of this my boy. When Nick died I would have given anything, including my own life, to see him again.
I see this differently now. I understand that had Nick not died, I never would have met your amazing Father and your gorgeous sisters, and we never would have had you.
You don’t always get to know why. Sometimes as humans we spend so much time trying to figure out why something has happened, or didn’t happen, or will happen. Sometimes and most often, we just don’t get to know why and you just need to trust the process.
It’s not always going to feel good, or right, or just; but it is what it is and you don’t always get to know why.
You aren’t the “only” one. You are going to have experiences in your life where you are going to feel like you are the only one it has happened to. You will feel as if you are the only one who feels hurt or the only one who has had bad things happen. You are going to feel like you have done something wrong or that no one has it as hard as you.
Trust me my sweet boy, you are not the only one.
In times of darkness and even times of greatness, remember, there are so many others who have been through something similar and who have achieved greatness, just like you.
Seek those people out, build a relationship and learn from them.
You are not the centre of the Universe. I know this is going to be a tough one for you to understand for a while. That’s normal. But someday, when you are older, I need you to know that YOU my son, are not the centre of the Universe.
The world owes you nothing and neither does anyone else. You must work hard for what you receive, you must treat others how you want to be treated, and you must never act like you are superior to anyone. I will spend your whole life teaching you this and you may hate it at times but this is so incredibly important.
You will make mistakes and you may be ashamed at times for decisions you have made but forgive yourself quickly and strive to be a better version of yourself every single day.
Don’t worry about other’s negative opinions of you. There will be people who don’t agree with you or downright don’t like you. If you know in your heart of hearts that YOU are YOU and that you are a good human, their opinion means nothing.
If you know deep down that you don’t hurt or sabotage people intentionally and you try your best every day to be kind, their opinions don’t matter.
You won’t always understand why someone feels negatively about you and you can either inquire or you can ask yourself, “does it matter?”.
Your Daddy will tell you to be you no matter what. If other’s don’t like it, it’s okay, because they are not a part of your reality.
Always love yourself, even on the bad days. You must take care of yourself both physically and mentally. If you are not healthy both in body and mind, it is very difficult to get through the hardships in life.
Love yourself and know that you are deserving, you are powerful, and you are loved beyond measure.
On the bad days remind yourself that it’s okay to not be okay, but don’t get stuck there and don’t treat yourself in a way that you would never imagine treating someone else.
Be gentle on yourself my boy and know that there is always someone there to help you on the days you are feeling off. You are so loved, even when it doesn’t feel that way.
Love others. Always try to choose love instead of judgement.
Love instead of hate.
Love instead of jealousy and love instead of betrayal.
There are going to be people in your life that you don’t agree with or who don’t agree with you. There are going to be people who hurt you.
There will be people you either know personally, who you have come across, or perhaps heard about, who do things or have done things that you find despicable or heinous.
Always try to choose love and to look at someone’s circumstances with and empathetic lens.
You don’t always know someone else’s story and you don’t need to in order to have compassion.
It is not easy to choose love and there will be days when you are surprised that you feel love for another human who has done something terrible.
Chances are, you will, because you are my son.
When this happens, know this; it is okay to choose love. You don’t have to agree with what someone has done but you can embrace that they are human and they were once a little boy or girl, just like you.
Be blessed that you have a solid foundation of love to grow up in. Not everyone gets that and bad things happen.
You never know when someone needs it.
Things change and usually when you least expect it. Oh my boy how I have learned this far too many times. You are going to be right in the middle of loving life and BOOM your world is going to explode.
I know because there is no one on this earth who hasn’t experienced this. You are not invincible to the inevitable chaos of life.
You are going to be heartbroken and people you love are going to die from old age and they may also die far too young.
You will be heartbroken and you aren’t always going to get what you want. You may lose things that you cherish and you may wish for things that never happen.
This is all a part of life and you can get through it all as long as you never give up on yourself and your ability to be resilient.
“The Universe is happening for you, not too you” -unknown-
Often change is good and I will walk with you through as many good and bad changes of yours that this Universe will grant me before I die. When one door closes another opens and if you can see it this way you will thrive in a way that is so powerful.
Embrace change my dear because if things didn’t change drastically for me and your Father, you wouldn’t be here.
As I said before, YOU my son are a perfect example of a silver lining.
Be all the things. I will never ask you what you want to be when you grow up. This question can be so confusing and often people believe that they are only meant to be one thing.
I want you to be all the things that fuel your soul.
If you choose one thing and it no longer feels right, I want you to change it.
As long as you are giving things a fair chance and you aren’t just “giving up”.
You will know when something is no longer aligning with who you are and when you are questioning this, I will be there, one way or another to help you process this experience. it can be very difficult and you will need support.
You don’t have to choose one thing; you just need to choose what excites you to get up in the morning.
As soon as you dread your alarm clock, this may be a very clear sign.
However, with all of that said, If there is only one thing that you do and you love it and it feels right, that is okay too. Only you get to decide what path you want to take and only you get to decide what is best for you.
I will help from a loving and open minded stance and sometimes we may not agree but you still must do what you need to do for you. I mean that.
Forgive. Not for them but for you. I mentioned before that things will happen in your life that hurt. You will feel betrayed and you will feel devastated but you MUST forgive. I don’t mean forgive to make them feel better, I mean forgive to help you heal and carry on.
Forgiveness is not always meant for the other person and if you don’t forgive you will carry feelings that can be debilitating. Forgiveness is one of many steps to healing and if you can master this one, even when it’s extremely difficult, you will be far better than those who carry resentment and grudges.
I have had to learn to do this many times and I am well aware it is easier said than done. You can do it though, because your heart is so beautiful.
Trust your intuition. My son you are so young but I can already tell you can sense the energy around you. Please if you only listen to one thing that I suggest, please let it be this. Always trust your intuition. Trust it in situations, with people, and with decisions. This gift will protect you and prevent you from so much heartache.
You won’t always get it right but one day you will learn to trust the feelings and when that happens I hope you are as blown away with how often your intuition is correct.
When you get a bad vibe from something or someone, trust it.
Last but not least, we will always love you. My baby boy we love you.
We will always love you.
Even on days when we are mad, frustrated, tired, and confused, we will always love you.
Some days you might think we don’t because we are upset or because we don’t give you every single thing you want. Trust me my boy, this is for your own good.
Everything we do for you, whether you perceive it as fair or not, we are doing it because we are trying our best to raise a loving, kind, resilient, and dependent man.
I will tell you this over and over in your life, your Father and I are not perfect and we have both done things that we are not proud of. We have felt ashamed of things in the past and not everyone knows our deepest darkest secrets, but with that said, we would not change a thing because we are exactly who we are now individually and as a team because of it all.
Happy First birthday my sweet little boy. You are so loved.