“I hope you end up having 10 children, JUST LIKE YOU” my mother would shout in frustration after an increasingly difficult day in my teenage years. At the time I believe she meant this more as a curse than a compliment, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve revisited that statement.
Throughout the years I’ve become a representation of my parents. I’ve inherited my mother’s attention to detail, keen logic and culinary skills. I am also a combination of my father’s understanding, creativity, and laughter. While, I wouldn’t say I ended up “just like them,” they influenced who I am today and who I am still becoming.
Truly, if my children end up just like me or even partly like me, it would be okay.
To my future children, if you’re anything like me I just want to say I’m sorry. You will fall a lot in your childhood because you will be extraordinary clumsy, but you’ll learn to get right back up, dust yourself off and move forwards. You’ll carry a handful of scars throughout your lifetime embedded with fascinatingly colorful stories to remind you of some fond and perhaps some not so fond memories. From these scars, and failures you will learn to be strong.
If you’re anything like me, you will not be the most popular child in your class, you will talk too much, ask too many questions and lord knows you’ll be apt to say inappropriate things on occasion. You’re teacher may think you’re easily distracted but creative, and the other children will tease and make fun of you.
You won’t understand why the fact that you don’t fit in a cookie cutter mold, and are different isn’t accepted. It is okay, molds are meant to be broken. I encourage you to embrace your differences and while you will not be surrounded by a colossal mass of friends, you will never be alone and you will always be loved.
You will learn to hold your small circle of friends close throughout the years. Even through vast distances and long periods of absence they will never truly be far away. They will always be there when you need them and will never hesitate to offer advice, a hug or to simply listen. Keep these friends, cherish them and never take them for granted.
To my daughter, if you are anything like me you are in for a rough period in high school. I apologize in advance but we are not the stereotypical portrait of beauty. We are awkward and sometimes unsure of ourselves. More often than not you’ll feel hurt and I’m sure you’ll shed a fair share of tears, but once again it is okay. Although we don’t fit into a particular mold doesn’t mean we aren’t crazy beautiful and believe me when you’re older we’ll laugh about old “so & so” over a glass of wine.
To my son, if you’re anything like me, I ask you to check your temper at the door. This goes for you too my daughter. While your anger may be a force of nature you must learn to be patient and to above all, listen. Listening is one of the most important things you can learn how to do however it is also one of the hardest, and even harder still, to do well. Don’t let your anger outpace your logic and remember to be patient.
To you both, if you’re anything like me you’ll always try to put your best foot forward, you’ll be determined, and you will love with full abandon. I warn you life will not always be easy. In fact more often than not it will be far from that, but I ask you to never give up. No matter the obstacle, giant or obsolete, you will get through it.
I ask you to remember to treat every person you meet with kindness, but not to be naive. While I believe in the greater good of people I also fully believe that not every person you meet will have your best intentions at heart. I ask that you acknowledge this and act accordingly.
Remember live your life to the fullest, listen, laugh often, be patient and be kind.
And,” If you are anything like me, you’ll be just fine.”
As always eat healthy, stay fit,