Breast or Bottle? Since you were a baby bump, the decisions have been endless. Eighteen years, the more I read and researched, the more fear I had that you were doomed and I would be ousted from the Good Mom Hall of Fame. Now, it’s time for college?!
Did I play with you enough? Did I feed you the right foods? Did I push too much? Did I encourage you enough? Did I push too little?
College looms and the last 18 years of life your life under my watchful eye, flash like scenes from a movie in slow motion. What have I taught you, and more importantly what did I forget to tell you?
Did I tell you how proud of you I am? I see so much potential ahead of you, more than you see in yourself at times. I am so incredibly excited to see what you decide to explore at college. Excited to see you break out of the bubble that has been your world, and watch you realize how magically big it truly is.
Did I tell you, you should get ridiculously involved at college? I may be breaking parent code, but I need to tell you school isn’t everything. There is so much to get involved with that will expand your creativity, and thinking. The more you are immersed in college the easier it is to find yourself. Although another little secret…most adults are still looking for themselves!
Did I tell you, you will always be my baby? Legally you may be an adult, but in my eyes, you will always be my gorgeous baby with chubby cheeks, a toothy smile and hello for everyone you met. You will be my curious, precocious girl with and girl boss attitude for days. My job has been to prepare you to be pushed out of the nest. I can promise you, despite what you think, you don’t know everything so don’t try to solve everything on your own.
Did I tell you, you need to take care of yourself? No one else is going to do it for you. Sleep enough, eat some form of healthy foods everyday (….p.s. Cheetos are not a vegetable). Take time for self-care. You may laugh at me when I say meditation is your friend, but it truly can be just 10 minutes long. Slow down, breathe, and take care of you.
Did I tell you to pick your friends wisely? I know I didn’t need to …okay, I did for my own peace of mind…but you know this already. There are some people who will build you up, look out for you, think of you in good times and bad, and want only the best for you. And there are those that just don’t. Dump the later like a bad habit, as quickly as you discover them.
Did I tell you to watch out for you and your friends? Empower and inspire those around you. Always have each others back. If you go out partying with a group, like the Army says “never leave a man behind”. Never put your drink down, have a buddy system and realize there are people out there that will take advantage of drunken situations. Trust your gut; it is right 99% of the time. If a situation feels wrong get out and stay safe.
Did I tell you to take every opportunity presented to explore careers? Explore life and the world. Explore the new area you will be living in. Sign up for AmeriCorps or the Peace Corps. Study abroad. Study hard, but take time to enjoy each and every day. Follow your heart not a paycheck.
Did I tell you to stand up for what is right? No, I didn’t need to, you were signing up for the Women’s March before I even knew what it was! Just do the right thing, even when no one is looking. Especially, when no one is looking. If you use that as your guide you won’t face many obstacles in your future.
Did I tell you to be kind? No, I didn’t need to. You have a very kind heart. You know to look out for others and make sure your friends are doing okay with the pressures of college. You know to include someone who may feel like an outcast and the world is against them.
Did I tell you I will always be here for you, no matter what situation you get into? No matter how much you think you may have screwed up. No matter how low you may be feeling. I unequivocally will always be just a phone call, a Face-time, a car ride, or a plane ride away. I will drop everything for you.
Did I tell you you are AMAZING? I know I nagged you about doing the dishes and cleaning your room, but did I tell you often enough how truly amazing I think you are? You have talents that were given to you, that will propel you into the future, and I cant wait to watch you use them. You are gorgeous on the outside, as well as the inside. You are fierce. As you venture out into the world beyond high school I am so confident you will not let anything get in the way of your incredible journey.
Did I tell you I am so unbelievably happy, proud, honored, and humbled to be your mom?