(A letter to my 4 1/2 year old son and 2 1/2 year old daughter)
I never really knew what power the words 'unconditional' and 'love' held until I looked into both of your eyes the moment the nurse handed you to me.
My heart swelled and I was overwhelmed. I was overwhelmed with love and fear.
Love, like I had never felt before and fear that I could one day somehow disappoint you.
This road we travel on together will be filled with many adventures and experiences.
There will be good times and bad but we will face them together.
Each day is a new chapter with no certainties on how they will unfold.
I will make mistakes as your Mommy this I know, but always know and trust that I love and only want what's best for you even though it may not seem like it at the time.
I will never ask you to be perfect, only that you try your hardest every day and work diligently to be the best 'you' that you can be.
I hope that you live your life with integrity, charity and a strong sense of self.
I hope that you will always try to do your best and never give up.
Always remember that you are always stronger than you think you are.
I hope that you never take things for granted and always be accountable for your actions.
Always treat others how you want to be treated.
Respect others and be open-minded - there is an entire world out there for you to discover and explore but never forget your home and where you came from.
Know that I will always be there for you – I will always be your friend but I am a parent to you first and foremost.
You will not always agree with me this I know.
I know that one day you will look at me and think that I don’t understand you and you’ll push me away and shut me out but I know those days will also come to pass.
All I ask is that you are always honest with me – we will deal with things as they come openly and honestly.
Be true to yourself, never sell yourself short.
Be true to your spirit and you will never disappoint me.
Face your obstacles and challenges and always admit when you are wrong.
Never be afraid to ask for help or to offer it to others.
Never lose your self respect and self worth – for it is you who will have to face that mirror in the morning.
It will be hard for me to stand by and watch you make mistakes but I will because it's through mistakes that we learn valuable lessons.
I will want to shelter you but one day I will let you go and make your own way in this world but always know that I am a phone call away.
Stand up for what you believe in and fight for those voices that are silenced and can’t fight for themselves.
Find a passion and nurture it - we all have a special gift.
Give back to the world and remember that the greatest gift you can give is giving back to those who have not.
Remember to be kind – a simple ‘thank you’ will always go a long way.
Learn to be a confidante.
Learn from the past.
Know your past.
Always keep your word – a promise is a promise after all.
Remember to have fun – live your life to the fullest and never waste a day wondering ‘what if’.
Friends will come and go but cherish each and every friendship - there are experiences and lessons to be learned from all of them.
Mind your manners.
Look at people in the eye when you talk to them - give them your complete attention.
Remember to hug.
Remember to say 'I love you'.
Remember to laugh.
Remember to cry.
Remember to breathe.
Remember those who came before you and those who will follow.
Know that it's OK to be alone and sit in silence every now and then - being along isn't a bad thing. Learn to shut off the noise and embrace the silence and just listen to the calm and the quiet. Serenity is a beautiful, wondrous thing indeed.
Take care of yourself - you were given this gift of life, don't waste it.
Don't forget to dream but also never forget to live in the present...for seconds, minutes, hours, days, years are things that you never get back once they pass.
Your hearts will break, your spirits will be crushed - these are life lessons that we all go through but never stray from knowing that things will get better...the light will always be shining at the end of the tunnel.
Be thankful in knowing that you are blessed.
And know that in the end all that matters is family and the love that they have for you.
These are my wishes for you.
To my son and my daughter I love you too much but it is one indulgence that I will never regret.