Wow…what a year we have had. It has been one year since I wrote the original An Open Letter to my Children 2016 and we’ve seen great joy and unbelievable hardships. We’ve succeeded and failed….we’ve grown together. I find myself in a new year (that isn’t so new anymore…already) with an eight- and five-year old, and again, I don’t know where the time went. I try earnestly to tell my children exactly what they mean to me, exactly how I feel, every single day. But I know these words fall flat on their tiny little ears, because there is no way they can yet understand the joy of being a parent. Someday when they have children of their own, they will truly know. Until then, I will continue to write to them, so when they gain perspective, they can look back and remember who they were at this point in time, who they were in the world and who they were to me.
Jace, you are eight years old today. What an amazing eight-year old you are! You are growing into yourself more and more every day. You are learning what you love, what you don’t, and how to maneuver everything in between. I was having a bad day last week. I was struggling completing a school assignment and you noticed. You didn’t have to notice, but you did. That is who you are…you see people. I had to leave the house to complete my assignment and dreaded coming home to dinner dishes. I walked into the kitchen and there you were….standing in the center, wash rag in your hand. The dishes were washed, dried and put away. The counter tops were cleaned. You did it all by yourself without anyone asking. In that moment, you shined. The kindness in your heart radiated. You brought me joy….immense joy that I have a son who is so caring, kind, dedicated and hardworking. You make me so proud. Over the past year, you have changed in some ways but you’re still the same in others. Scary movies are still your favorite. You still love steak although I’m trying my best to convert you to a vegetarian. The look on your face when I mention the word “cabbage” is priceless but you eat everything I cook. You’re figuring out friendship. Girls still get on your last nerve (thank God). You love baseball…LOVE BASEBALL. You won the baseball tourney this year and you were so happy. You love to swim and run. You have started speaking for yourself with more confidence. You have your own style and opinions. You went to Disney this year and loved all of the thrill rides, always questing the fastest and most exhilarating experience possible. You love dirt bikes and classic cars. You don’t love to read but you do it to appease me. You helped me build and plant our garden this year, and you loved every moment of it. You just a cool kid. The best. You’re a great friend. You’re an awesome son. Thank you for all of the love, joy and beauty you brought into my life over the last year.
Oh Jera, child, you are a tornado. You leave a path behind you, and you are memorable in the most beautiful way. We can never (and I mean NEVER) see your bedroom floor. You leave a path in the bathroom…in the living room…on the front porch…you are constant movement and thinking. You have fallen in love with art this year. You have three or four drawings waiting for me each day that I pick you up from the sitter. You love to draw our family and on each drawing you write “To Mom, Jera”. You love music, and your dad and I smile when we hear your little voice carrying through the house from your bedroom as you play, from the bathroom as you bathe, and even from the toilet…you sing ALL the time. You love Trolls and Moana. We took you to Disney this summer and you refused to ride a single ride because you are afraid of anything fast, dark or high. ‘It’s a Small World’ was a thrill ride for you. You love animals of all kinds. You have a special tenderness with animals, and I see something special in the way you handle them. You are incredibly smart, and I cannot wait to see what Kindergarten brings for you. You love your family and don’t like to be away from us for any length of time…which should also make Kindergarten interesting. You still give the best hugs….and kisses. You are the most loving child. You love tea parties and playing with your various little dolls. You love using your imagination. Your favorite food is beans, which makes me laugh. You have gotten into the habit of whining when things don’t go your way…and I am anxiously awaiting for that phase to end. You have started using the word “literally” in nearly every sentence, and when I hear it fall out of my mouth as well, I know where it comes from and it makes me smile. You are kind. You are so beautiful, on the inside and outside. You have so much energy and potential. Everyday with you is an adventure. Thank you for keeping life interesting. For always being ready with the unexpected. For keeping me on my toes. Thank you for your love.
If you haven’t, take a moment to reflect on your family today. Write it down. It will be gone tomorrow, and the moments you think you’ll always remember will fade away into new, exciting growth and development. Live in the moment. Don’t think about tomorrow. Focus on your family. Love too much today. Happy Sunday!