So nine years have gone by in the blink of an eye. It’s crazy really how a human being can evolve and grow in such a relatively short period of time. I mean, think about it. Nine years ago, you were a teeny, tiny helpless bundle of mush. You wanted to be nursed around the clock, you pooped (a LOT), and, even though you couldn’t do much, you completely changed this family in every possible way.
Now look at you. You’re in grade four. You’re one of the big kids. Before you know it, you’re going to be a teenager. Seriously. Look out, World. Just nine short years, and you have grown so much. But, you know what? Even though us grown ups may not grow taller like you do, we grow, too. Just like you. I’m not the same mom I was nine years ago. I’ve grown and evolved right along with you.
There are a few lessons I’d like to share with you on this, your ninth birthday.
- You. Are. Amazing.
- You don’t have to try to be like anyone else. Because…read number 1.
- Don’t compare yourself to anyone – not your friends, not your siblings and definitely not the people you see on TV and YouTube. Because…read number 1.
- Every single human on this planet is unique. And, it’s our differences that make us awesome. It’s our differences that make us who we are. Don’t try to blend in. Because…read number 1.
- Keep playing “imagination land”. Keep playing outside. Keep making homes for your jungle babies in the woods. Keep riding your bike. Keep skipping. Keep running just because you want to get where you’re going faster. Keep playing with chalk. Keep being excited about life. Be Peter Pan. Stay young forever. Don’t tell yourself you have to grow up. You can be young at heart for your whole life if you just keep playing.
- Growing up can be hard sometimes. People can be mean. People can play tricks on you. Sometimes, you’re going to feel like you don’t have a friend in the world. We ALL feel that way sometimes. But, even when you feel that way…read number 1.
- I will ALWAYS be there for you. I WILL ALWAYS BE THERE FOR YOU. And, so will Daddy. And so will your big sister, Brenna. And so will all three of your brothers. So, when you feel like you don’t have a friend in the world, remember you have six permanent, ready-made, love-you-to-pieces, best-friends-forever, friends – always. You will NEVER be alone. So, when you’re having a bad, crappy or lonely day. Just remember that your family is never far away.
- You are lucky. You are more than lucky. You are privileged beyond what you can even understand at your nine years of age. It’s so important to be grateful for all the extra you have in your life. Use that extra to help others who aren’t as lucky and privileged as you. Like donating your birthday presents to the kids in the hospital for the third year in a row? That’s a such a great start. As you get bigger, your ideas will get bigger, too. Use your imagination to help the world. Because…read number 1.
- Ok…this might make you blush…but it’s an important lesson, so listen up: you’re going to start getting crushes. I know, I know, you’ve had crushes your whole life. But, you’re going to start getting MORE crushes. On boys. Or on girls. Or just on nice people in general. There’s no rule for the kind of person you’re supposed to have crushes on. Crushes are totally ok and normal. And they make you feel kind of weird. It’s ok, weird is good. But, don’t let those weird feelings mess with your mind. And, don’t try to change yourself so the person you have a crush on will like you back. Because…read number 1. Just be you. For real. Read. Number. 1.
- Be a leader. Be kind. Do the right thing. Don’t do what your friends are doing just because your friends are doing it. When your friends are not being kind, when you’re friends are not doing the right thing, show them the way. If they’re mean to you for being kind, if they’re mean to you for doing the right thing, walk away. And, in the meantime, read number 6. And, oh yeah…read number 1.
- You are loved. No matter what. The only thing in life that is 100 percent for sure is that you are loved. I love you. Daddy loves you. Cameron loves you. Brenna loves you. Devon loves you. William loves you. And all of our extended family loves you. Even when we’re cranky. Even when we’re mad. Even when we’re tired. Even when we’re not very nice. Even when you’re not very nice. You. Are. LOVED.
I hope you had a super birthday. I hope these lessons are something you think about and that you take them with you in life. I hope they help you be the you you want to be.