This past weekend I hosted a baby shower for one of my oldest and dearest friends. After the busyness of the party preparations, hosting obligations, and clean-up passed, I had a few minutes to think about this new person that will soon be welcomed into a family and into the world. Now that my own children are nearly three and six-years-old, I think I am slowly emerging from the hormonal, sleep deprived haze of new motherhood. And I feel like I am able to reflect more thoughtfully, and less emotionally, on both the wonders and practicalities of raising a child. So here are just a few of the things that I would like my friend’s soon-to-be-born child (or, for that matter, every child) to know:
- You were wanted and loved since well before you were born.
- Your parents have roles and identities that extend beyond Mommy and Daddy, and sometimes it is hard to manage them all. But the role of Mommy and Daddy are always their first priority.
- Possibilities are endless as long as you ask for help and trust your instincts.
- Take music lessons. Like all mothers say, one day you will be very thankful that you did and wish that you had practiced more often.
- If you ever need proof that your parents were real people before they morphed into these strange beings called Parents, just ask one of their childhood friends. (I have countless stories and photos to prove it.)
- Marry your best friend. And fall in love with that same person over and over again.
- Remember always that you are strong, beautiful, and capable.
- Practice empathy and patience. They are two of the hardest virtues to carry out, but among the most important.
- Forgive and ask for forgiveness easily.
- Your family is as vast and as strong as you make it.
- Your parents are two of the kindest and most genuine people that I know. You are lucky to have them as your parents.
What do you want every child to know?