A note to Jack, who checked in at college this morning:
The day you were born “It’s a Wonderful World” was playing in the delivery room. At that moment I had no idea how true the lyrics would become with you in my life. I treasure every moment from that day to this, and am incredibly proud to be your mom and witness the man you’ve become.
Through the years I’ve tried to be a “good” parent. Yes, I’ve yelled too often and thrown out the f-bomb more times than I can count. We’ve certainly had our share of arguments. But we also had many more smiles, hugs, happy tears, adventures, shared secrets, and inside jokes. Best of all, we have love.
You’ve grown into a fine young man. You are good, kind, thoughtful, empathetic, courageous, steadfast, capable, gentle, resourceful, and have a heart strong enough to give and receive love. I’ve guided you the best I know how and hope you carry the lessons you’ve learned through life. But in case you need a gentle reminder, here’s your cheat sheet for reference.
I love you more than chocolate, now and forever.
1. Always ride the roller coaster so you're not left with regrets. The worst words to utter are “I should’ve…”
2. Your character and reputation are the easiest things to lose and most difficult things to get back, so guard them fiercely by making good choices.
3. True friends never make you uncomfortable or encourage you to do something to tarnish your character. (See item above.)
4. Your credit score is as important as your reputation.
5. Keep your inner circle close and always have their back because your best friends will have yours.
6. Act as if. Have the confidence to pursue your dreams. If you want something bad enough do what it takes to get it.
7. Don't mistake sex for love. Sex is fun, but sex with someone you love is so much better.
8. Smile often.
9. You will fall in and out of love. There will be that one person you’ll never forget but don't let that stop you from finding someone new. It may not seem like it at the time, but broken hearts mend.
10. The pain of heartache is devastating. Give time, time.
11. Running things under water doesn't clean things. Use soap.
12. You won't die from loving too much, so do it fiercely and unconditionally.
13. Relationships with partners, family, and friends take work. Put in the time and effort to build, keep, and grow bonds with those that mean the most to you.
14. When you say “I love you” mean it.
15. Stand up for yourself because you're worth it. Never let someone make you feel bad about yourself.
16. Do your best even when nobody is looking.
17. If it feels wrong it probably is. Trust your gut.
18. Don't miss the chance to say goodbye. You'll always regret it.
19. Always straighten your room/home before the housekeeper arrives.
20. Never change to please someone. Be yourself. If people don’t like you, fuck ‘em.
21. Find the good in every situation. It's always there; just sometimes harder to find.
22. Your choices will define you, so choose wisely.
23. Don't be wasteful and never take more than you need. There are those who pray for what you already have.
24. Doing "just enough" is never good enough. Always do your best and exceed expectations.
25. Sometimes a hug can express more than words.
26. Share with others. You'll be rewarded with riches you can't deposit in a bank.
27. Always say “thank you.”
28. Always say “sorry.”
29. Tell your children you love them as often as you can. (I love you.)
30. Mean words hurt and are remembered. (I'm sorry for ever hurting your feelings.)
31. Walking barefoot in the grass is almost always better than socks and tie-up shoes.
32. Spread your wings, take chances, and see the world. You'll always have a home to come back to.
33. Be responsible for your actions. Own your mistakes and learn from them. Don't make the same mistake twice.
34. Riding with the windows down and the music up cures a bad day.
35. Don't follow too closely the car in front of you and drive the speed limit.
36. Days go by slowly but years fly by.
37. Save your money and strive to live debt free.
38. Do it right the first time.
39. Sometimes you need to be angry. Just don’t let it last and ruin a good day.
40. Don't be afraid of heartbreak. It's better to have loved, so go ahead and kiss the girl.
41. Not everybody will like you, and that's ok.
42. It's okay to let go. Things end.
43. Friendships aren't disposable "things."
44. Sometimes it takes longer to win but the truth always prevails.
45. Sometimes saying nothing speaks more than a thousand words.
46. Getting lost on a back road is the best kind of getting lost.
47. Tell the truth. It’s easier to remember.
48. Listen more; talk less.
49. You only have one life. It goes by quick so don't waste it. Live the shit out of it and make it worth remembering.
50. Always call your mom and return her texts.
Copyright by Robyn Porter.