An open letter to my 13 and 14 year old daughter’s on Mother’s Day 2016
I am a hot mess. I have not tried to hide this from you…ever. I have an addictive personality and on the day you were born, I was committed to love you in a way that you would never doubt my love for you and never have to recover from your childhood. This made me very, very scared. Your dad believed in me when we brought Grace home and I looked at him and asked, “Now what?” I knew that it was going to be an adventure. And even though I may have spanked the wrong child before (social workers can’t come and get me…the statute of limitations is over) and I warn you when I am about to turn into the Wicked Witch of the West, you know I love you. You also know that mistakes are expected and embraced in our house. I am not June Cleaver. I am not Mrs. Brady. I am your crazy mom that rides her skateboard and does gymnastics at the age of 44. And when we are together, Daddy says we are like three little old ladies. But, there are certain truths that I need you to begin practicing at this age.
Strong doesn’t happen overnight. It is a process that is learned in every moment. You fail a test? You learn from it and study harder the next time. That makes you strong. You want to quit? But, you do not, you stick with it until you get it. (Bowers girls do not quit.) That makes you strong. Your knees are shaking, but you stand for something nobody else does. That makes you strong. Becoming strong means that you will do hard things over and over. Doing hard things will make you mentally, physically, and emotionally strong and that journey will never end.
You know right from wrong. Take risks that will put you out of your comfort zone because that is where you grow. Go for it. Compete. Take the shot. Go Big. You will never regret any chance that you take, whether it is good or bad. If it works out, it was worth it. If it doesn’t, you learn and try again. YOU WILL MAKE HUGE MISTAKES!!! It is in your DNA. (Look at your mom’s learning style…oh that’s NOT how it was supposed to go…) Own it. Own every part of it and move on. There are always other opportunities if you have the reputation of being a hard worker and are respectful.
I have no regrets. Bad boyfriends. I learned what I didn’t want in a husband. Eating Disorder. I wouldn’t have compassion for broken people today if I didn’t endure that. Car Accidents. Well, I am working on that. I am a work in progress and so are you. Let’s celebrate the physical, academic, spiritual, and emotional growth you have made and let’s strive to continue to grow.
Out Work Everyone and Be Respectful.
This is the non-negotiable in our house. Nothing else needs to be said.
You are going through some tough years. I will be your biggest fan and your biggest truth teller. I am learning not to lecture, I am TRYING to get off my soap box, and TRYING to just listen. There is nothing that you can do to make me love you more and there is nothing you can do to make me love you less. I am giving you the grace to grow.
Happy Mother’s Day 2016! It is an honor to be your mom.
XOXO and BIG SMOOCHES,
Mom…because you do not call me Mommy anymore.