Posted by AVM

Of all the things I want my children to learn in this life, there are only a handful of gems I think they can get from me.  This is what I hope their take-aways are with me as their mom:

  1. Make great friends.  Be a good friend, and you’ll have good friends.  You don’t have to be the most popular kid on the playground to make lasting, lifelong friendships.  And work at them.  Like every relationship in your life, you must work at it, put in the time, make the sacrifices.  As a result, the roots will grow strong and you’ll enjoy the sweet fruit, the comforting shade, and the sturdy branches of friendship that will hold you up.  The friendships I have in my life have been a constant source of love and support, and I wouldn’t be the mom, the wife, or the woman I am without them.  I hope you are lucky enough to find friendships like I have found. 
  2.  When you find the person you were meant to be with, dig in your heels and commit.  Marriage has more ups than downs, but you can’t run when the going gets tough.  The morning after our wedding day, your father and I were at brunch with the rest of the wedding guests who had stayed at the hotel.  We were basking in the glow of being newlyweds, looking forward to our honeymoon flight – life was good over orange juice.  One of our guests came up to us and said, “I know you’re happy NOW.  But in about five years, you’re going to look over at this person and think, ‘I hate you!’  And it will be over the stupidest thing.  But you have to remember, this is your family now.  You and he are FAMILY.  And that will make you realize, this is a marathon, not a sprint.  And you’ll remember, the little things don’t matter so much.  It’s your foundation that keeps you going.”   Well, as I write this, we have been married four-and-a-half years.  We’re over achievers – it didn’t take five years to realize that she was right.  I think about this advice often, and I hope you’ll remember it too.  
  3.  Study hard.  Your education is something no one can take away from you.  School is so much more than the subjects you learn.  It’s exposure to life outside of your comfort zone, and it gives you an edge.  And you’re going to want that.  
  4. Be good to yourself first.  Everyone else has to come second.  You’re smart and beautiful, inside and out, whatever your size, whatever your hair looks like, whatever your beliefs are – you are special.  Believe that, and I promise I will always believe that about you.  It was something I am still learning the hard way, and I’m trying to save you the long road getting there.  
  5. Keep your promises.  Life isn’t fair, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be.  Character is what you do when no one is looking.  I’ll do my best to model that.  
  6. Your parents are going to make mistakes.  Ours did, and we will too.  Go easy when you tell it to Oprah.  We’re doing the best we know how to do.