Reflections of a mother as her son turns five. She shares her life secrets and looks forward to the day he is ready to trust her motherly words of advice.
It is not because you’re five that brings tears to my eyes today. It’s the overwhelming speed in which we’ve arrived here. I feel like I’ve raced to this day and am jogging on the spot while I take a minute to watch you blow out the candles on your birthday cake before I race off to your 18thbirthday, which I have no doubt we’ll arrive at before I’m ready.
Your entrance into this world, was not what we expected, in a long list of ways. A surprise from the very start, you continue to amaze us. Already you’re this intriguing little creature poised between baby, child and man. Your words carefully thought out and delivered with the soft sounds of someone still learning to pronounce his words. You easily give in to your sister. Playing her games so convincingly she actually believes Transformer Nail Polish would be the best birthday gift for you. She has no idea that you love her so much that you only tolerate the pink nails she gives you just to make her happy.
I see your capacity for love. I listen when you tell us you’re frustrated, excited, nervous and wish I could help you maneuver through all of these emotions better, but I’m still trying to figure them out myself. My emotional intelligence barely able to express the bigness of my love for you.
While I am winded by the pace of our lives together, I do not wish for time to stop. I am curious to know who you’ll be when you grow up. How does a sweet boy–who grasps concepts quicker than his own mother–translate into a man? Do the Lego, Hot Wheels, and Transformers filling your toy bins point to your future self? Or can we gleam more from your love of books and fear of the sounds night brings?
There is only so much I can do to ensure that whoever you end up being is a person you’ll be proud of. I’ve seen how unfairly balanced the scales of nurture and nature can be. Advice falling on deaf ears if you’re not ready to hear it. But just in case these bits haven’t sunk in yet, or I haven’t explained them in a way that speaks to you, just in case this is the best way to give you my life secrets, then I ask you to read these and then I’ll promise to take a moment myself to soak in these last minutes of your preschool self.
Life Secrets for My Son
1. Sleep on It
This is the best way to ensure that you’ve made a decision you can live with. If you feel the same way in the morning, move forward.
2. Never Say Never
We cannot predict the future. We don’t know who we’ll be, or what we’ll be doing tomorrow. What you believe in and what you know today, can change. Never is permanent and we are too changeable to live with a decision so eternal. (more about Never Say Never)
3. Take a Deep Breath
When you’re scared, take a deep breath. When you feel stress, take a deep breath. When you’re angry, take a deep breath. When you need to calm down, take a deep breath. When you’re ready to dive in, take a breath and then proceed.
4. Quality vs. Quantity
It is not important to be surrounded by a lot of friends, to have a long line of partners or even to have heaps of money. It’s the quality of each person you accept into your life and the way they complement your happiness that counts more than anything. If you focus on quality, you’ll walk with lighter steps into your future.
5. It’s How You Deal With it That Counts
It is ok to be angry, sad, frustrated, happy, excited, jealous, it is ok to feel. It is even ok to take a minute to process that feeling, but in the end, it’s how you deal with it is that counts. Throwing something or hitting someone when you’re angry vs. talking about why you’re feeling angry is more telling about who you are.
6. You Can’t Win the Lottery, If You Don’t Buy a Ticket
Good things come to those who work for it, who plan for it, who make room for it in their lives. You’ve got to reach out to make something/anything happen.
7. You Need to Love Yourself Before You Can Be Loved the Way You Need to Be
True love starts with you. Loving yourself, respecting yourself, gives you a better start to finding the people or person who brings a quality to your life that will compliment your own happiness. It’s the most complicated and unavoidable relationship you will ever have, so give it the time it deserves.
8. I Love You (the most important of all life secrets)
More than I can ever express. More than you’ll ever realize. Who you are now and whoever you will become, I love you.