Today I am stepping aside from my usual design related posts and instead am going to get a little personal…
Today is my oldest child’s 14th Birthday I have come to the conclusion that sweet 16 is not the Teen Birthday’ of all Birthdays….what does it mean, really, your half way to your twenties?….you are old enough to drive?…so what! If this is what society has decided is your milestone I have to disagree, You are 14, you are entering into what will be some of the best & hardest years of your life…at least between the ages of 14-18 you will think so. You are heading into High School, and everything is going to change. Your school work is no longer going to be a second thought, from here on it gets serious, Your friends may change & you may make new ones, you will fall in love for the first time, you will become more independent, and with this will need to take more responsibility for your actions. You will be introduced to peer pressure and may face truly unkind people face to face….how will you handle it?
I had been worried myself about all of these things, enough to keep me awake at night and wondered about how I could shield you from this, how I could prevent the wrongs….but truth is I can’t stop them from happening, nor do I want to these things will help shape the person you will become…but what I could do is leave you with the wisdom that I walked away with going through the same things as a young girl…..My Gift Of Wisdom
- Have Fun! but always remember who you are and what you know, if it feels like it may not be a good idea it probably isn’t. Never let anyone tell you any different, go with your gut. Staying safe doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun, it just means use your head and NEVER be afraid to say no.
- Don’t Drink & Drive: or get in with anyone who has been drinking. There will come a time in the next few years when you may start experimenting with alcohol. As a Mom, this scares me to death, but I am smart enough to know no matter what I say you will test your limits. What I need you to know is, I do not approve, but I am always there for you if you find yourself in this situation. I am a phone call away ALWAYS and will pick you up anywhere at any time without judgment because I know you trusted me enough to call, always be safe. This is something your Nan always did for me, and I always picked up the phone no matter what.
- Stay in School: This is something I learned the hard way and is probably the second most important life lessons I can teach you. You do not need to be a straight A student but study hard, and you will get through it, life is always there after that….there is still time to be with your friends, boyfriends and parties the problem is those things will fade and if you haven’t gotten your education you are left with nothing…nothing you can be proud of. I left school and spent the rest of my adult life regretting it, trying to prove myself to others and feeling like I could never measure up. I went back to school for 4 years with 3 babies at the age of 38 I did it and only now at the age of 44 feel I am truly somebody I feel proud to be……don’t spend your life beating yourself up, just enjoy your friends, fun and your learning now, be proud of yourself because nothing else matches that feeling…..nothing.
- Get a Job: Work hard and earn your own way in life, never depend on someone else to make your way. Get a little job, you are going to hate but do it well and be proud of it. Making your own way, saving your own money and buying your own things with your own money…well there is nothing like it, don’t expect these things to be given to you.
- Don’t be afraid to fail: I spent an entire lifetime feeling insecure and not good enough to try many things in my life because I was afraid to fail…this is a hard thing to overcome that if I had just trusted in myself and not think about what I couldn’t do and just focused on what I was good at and could have conquered my fears and have been anything I wanted to be…..you have all of that in front of you…..grab it and enjoy the ride.
- Heartbreak: I wish I could shield you from this, but I can’t. You will fall in love deeply maybe more than once, and you will feel heartache of losing it. What you need to remember is the pain is real, your loss it real but you will heal….I promise you, all the tears and all the pain are just creating a path to your one true love…..its worth the journey.
- Stay true to yourself: Do NOT let anyone change you, do not let your friends or boyfriends dictate who you are, do NOT let ANYONE walk all over you…you are Emma, there is only one like you be proud of yourself and stay true to what we have taught you and what you believe, you will be respected for that and remembered for it when all the other people who didn’t are forgotten.
- Be a good person: Be a true friend, never let things come between you and your true friends….nothing is worth hurting them or losing them. Treat them with kindness & respect and always open up to them if something is wrong…tell them, not others….if you do this you will remain friends the rest of your adult life and trust me, you will need them.
- Be a good Big Sister: I tell you this all the time Emma but it never seems to sink in. Your brother and sister are a pain I know, but they love you so much and they look up to you. They are going to need you as they grow up, someone to watch out for them, talk to them when they need a friend. Don’t turn your back on them, hold their hand and guide them and when you are older they in turn will be there for you and your bond will guide each of you. You will NEVER have another friendship like your brother and your sister…hold tight to that.
- I LOVE YOU: We fight…I know we fight a lot, and you always get your back up when I try to talk to you and help you. You think I don’t understand what its like….I do. You need to trust me, trust that I am only looking out for you, trust that when I tell you something I tell you from experience, and you can learn from me. This Emma is the most important thing I can tell you…respect me, be kind to me, love me, trust me. If you learn anything from this post, I hope it’s this one thing because some day when you least expect it I may be gone and everything terrible you ever said or have done will come back to you like a title wave and drown you in regrets…..time will run out to say how much you loved me that I was right, don’t put yourself through that Emma, open your ears and your heart, listen and learn because no one will ever love you as much as I love you.
And Remember, I was 14 once too…don’t forget that
Happy 14th Birthday Emma, I love you to the Moon and back never forget that
Love Mom xoxo