Happy birthday, sweet boy!
You have been on this earth for a whole year now. And I am a year wiser and stronger for loving you. You have been blessed with parents, grandparents, extended family, and friends who care for you deeply and have supported you (and me) since day one. It is because of that love and support that we are both alive and well today!
I got you a book for your birthday about a boy who lost his name. You will also receive a box of random toys and surprises and I’m sure we will spend countless hours on the floor together, reading and playing with your new treasures. Undoubtedly you will receive many more gifts for your birthday, quite frankly because you are spoiled. But that’s ok because you’re still little and you only turn a year old once 🙂
But more than presents that can be unwrapped and played with and eventually forgotten, I wanted to give you something this year that you can carry with you. So I am writing you this letter about all the things I hope you know to be true as you grow. There is so much more wisdom that I want to pass on to you, but I have summed it up in three short points for now. Pay attention.
- Be self-aware. Know what your strengths are and own them. But also know your weaknesses. Don’t ever be afraid to admit defeat, but always use it as an opportunity to grow. When you are in tune with who you are and what makes you tick, you will be able to manage and control your emotions which will make you a more effective leader and friend. Self-awareness is the first step in creating what you want and mastering your life. Along with this point is the advice to read the room. If you are anything like your father and I, you will have a unique (and in my opinion GREAT) sense of humor. Laughter is a wonderful thing and already your joy is contagious. But there is a time and a place for everything. Some situations call for us to be serious, so be aware of your surroundings. In these situations, keep your jokes to yourself and tell them to me later!
- Love is more powerful than hate. This life can be crazy and people will eventually let you down. Do not be overcome with hate. This point is best illustrated through a poem by the beloved Mother Teresa:People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you.
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough.
Give the best you’ve got anyway.
in the final analysis it is between you and God;
it was never between you and them anyway.
- Always make time for people. The friendships and relationships you invest in throughout your life are worth their weight in gold. Life gets busy but you should always make time for the things (people) that matter most. If you tell someone you will be there for them, mean it. Speak with integrity. Open your mind, arms, and heart to new things and people.
So these words are my gift to you. Mark them on your heart and save them for a rainy day, because life sometimes pours. You are destined for great things, my boy. It’s up to you to decide what your own brand of greatness looks like. Always know that your papa and I will always be on your side and in your corner. And we will strive to celebrate your life everyday, not just on your birthday.