Today, my sweet baby girl sheds another year and gracefully takes the next few steps on her life’s journey. There are days when I’m sure she wishes she could take a few leaps forward and be out in the big, wide world, and there are times when I know she wishes she could crawl up in my lap and forget the challenges of growing up.
Many milestones happen as we grow, learn, experience, and change. I have been witness to many of my daughter’s, and some, I imagine, she has secretly tucked away in her heart as it should be.
As we have created a life together, there are many lessons I’ve wanted to share with her–recipes, if you will, on how to live a full life. I’ve wanted to offer her a pinch of advice, a handful of wisdom, and a dash of hindsight as she continues her journey from childhood to adulthood in this liminal space known as “youth.”
Being a child development specialist, however, I’ve learned that these life lessons aren’t always best shared in discussion or on car rides (insert eye roll here). Sometimes, it is the simplicity of the written word that invites pondering and perspective.
Lessons Shared with my Daughter
- Take your time. Growth is a journey, and each step brings with it things to be treasured.
- Your journey is your own. People will want wonderful experiences for you, but it is you who makes the choices when you come to the crossroads.
- Rely on your faith. That small inner voice that speaks up when you are unsure of things is the one that will keep you rooted in what is right and good for your mind, body, and spirit.
- Take time to laugh. Let your guard down. Be silly. Play. You are never too old to enjoy fun.
- Ask for help. There will be bumps and barriers on the way. You will stumble, and you may even fall, but no one, I mean no one, will ever fault you for grabbing their hand and holding on when you need it.
- Pursue your dreams. They are your own, and while it is ok for others to offer guidance, no one should ever tell you that you cannot achieve what you desire in your heart.
- Live life with passion. Don’t be afraid to feel emotions, even if you have to go in your room, shut the door, and work through it on your own. Life expects a lot from you, and if you let it, it will fill your soul with joy, love, and light.
- Value your health. Take care of your mind, body, and spirit. Honor the gifts the Creator has blessed you with and don’t take them for granted.
- Respect those who love you. You may not always want to hear what we have to say, but our words and wisdom may plant seeds that you’ll need for the future.
- Be curious. Experience the world around you. Let go of technology. Find interest in the small and the simple.
- Be patient with yourself. You will make mistakes. You are not perfect. It is those experiences that will create the wisdom you need as you take the next steps on your journey.
- Give thanks. You live a life filled with many gifts and blessings. Be humble and grateful for what you have.
I love you, my child. ~Mom