Dear Child of Mine,
I have come to a realization.
YOU are not ME.
I know, it sounds like a no-brainer, but quite often, I expect things from you that I would expect from myself. I find myself frustrated that you didn’t load the dishwasher the same way that I would. You don’t put on a coat when I am cold, or like to eat the same foods as me. You don’t approach life with the same intensity that I do: a tidy house, a great schedule/routine, clean sheets….
Your intensity is for different things in life: a thrilling slide at the park, or feeling like you are going to swing right around the bars while pumping your little legs as fast as they’ll go. You play the Hot Lava game with such seriousness that you actually believe you’ll burn up if you touch the hardwood, regardless of how close your head comes to the brick hearth. You’ve gone through your life with a song on your lips, and speed in your feet, even if I’ve cautioned you to slow down, to “be careful”, to “watch where you’re going”.
Yes, Child of Mine, watch where YOU are going. Watch the places you explore. Watch the people you meet. Watch how your life turns out differently from my life because YOU are not ME. We aren’t designed to be the same. Wouldn’t life be so boring if we were all the same?
As your mom, I will always watch where you are going.
I will watch you make mistakes. I will watch you hurt. I will watch you succeed. I will watch you fail. I will watch you fall, and I will watch you get up again. I will watch you learn to love yourself, look for recognition, encouragement, and strength from deep within yourself, not from external sources.
Blaze your own trail. Don’t take the path I’ve taken, because you will always end up frustrated that it doesn’t turn out exactly like my path. Take the path that inspires you, gives you hope, brings you peace. Sometimes, that path won’t lead where you thought it would. Sometimes, you’ll have to trek through the sticks and thorns to get where you want, but do it.
Don’t be fearful of YOUR path, because no one has ever, nor will ever walk that EXACT path again.
Go your own way, in your own way.
With love, support, and hope,