To My Emma & My Jackson...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

To my Emma Kathryn and my Jackson Douglas,

No, I'm not using your middle names because you are in trouble. At least not yet you little stinkers.
Growing up, my grandfather always called me by my first and middle name, Laura Michele. I was always Laura Michele. Sometimes I find myself following suit with you. Mommy and Daddy gave you those middle names for a reason. They mean something to us, and eventually, they will mean something to you as well.

Sometimes when I can't sleep, I think about what you will be like in the future. Will you be kind? Will you be happy? Will you still be best friends? I certainly hope so, and it's my job as your Mommy, to do what I can to make sure that happens. A while back, when you, my Emma Kathryn were just about two and a half, and you, my Jackson Douglas were only nine months old, I wrote you a letter. A letter about what I hoped for you in your future. I stumbled upon that letter a little while ago and it got me thinking again about your future and what kind of advice I should give you as you grow up. I started to think about it more and more, and finally decided to write you another letter, that someday you will understand.

I originally planned on writing a letter with the top ten pieces of advice that I would want you to follow as you grew up. I quickly realized that since I am your mom, I have WAY MORE then ten things I want you to to follow as you become young adults. I know, go figure. Feel free to roll your eyes right now. So, the top ten list quickly flew out the window and in no particular order, here is a list of some of the advice I can only hope you take to heart one day.
  1. Jackson Douglas, always be a gentleman. Hold doors open for ladies. Always treat women with respect. They are your equal, and should be treated that way.
  2. Emma Kathryn, always be a lady. Don't hesitate to hold your own. Be strong. Be independent. Be respectful. But always be a lady.
  3. Know your worth and your potential. Don't ever let anyone treat you in a way that makes you question your worth.
  4. Learn the value of money. You don't need to be rich to be happy, but you do need to be smart about how you use your money. Save it when you are young, because you're going to need it someday. Never live beyond your means.
  5. Jackson Douglas, when you put the seat up, put it back down. I can't stress that enough. Consider that invaluable advice that will help your future wife.
  6. Do not fear. I will introduce you to the dishwasher, oven, washing machine, iron, vacuum and broom. Please use them.
  7. Play a sport. It will teach you how to win honorably, lose gracefully, respect authority,... work with others, manage your time and stay out of trouble. And maybe even throw or catch.
  8. Chose your own religion. I know your Mimi and your Nanny will have my head for this one, but if Catholic isn't your bag baby, chose your own adventure.  
  9. Don't ever be a bully or ever start a fight. Defend yourself or your loved ones, but don't ever throw the first punch. Stick up for those that are bullied. Be their advocate.
  10. You'll understand everything I ever did or said when you are a parent.
  11. Don't ever take your knowledge and education for granted. That is something that nobody can take away from you. Pay attention to your education, it's important. I promise.
  12. Take pride in your appearance. Jackson Douglas, don't you ever wear your pants low enough so someone can see your undies. If you want people to see your undies, I'll take all your pants away and then they will REALLY see your undies. Emma Kathryn, keep it covered and classy. Again, know your worth.
  13. Be strong and tender at the same time.
  14. Always respect your elders. Say please, and thank you and yes ma'am and no sir. A simple polite remark can go a long way.
  15. Peer pressure is a scary thing, at least to your parents it is. Be a good leader and stand up for yourself if someone asks you to do something that you don't want to do. Even if you are afraid it won't keep you "cool". Others who are afraid to stand up for themselves will follow you.
  16. Jackson Douglas, bringing her flowers for no reason is always a good idea.
  17. Be kind.  
  18. Keep your sense of humor. It goes a long way in the healing process.
  19. Please choose your respective spouses wisely. Jackson, my daughter-in-law will be the gatekeeper for me spending time with you and my grandchildren. Emma, my son-in-law better treat you like the princess that you are. A strong, independent, intelligent princess.
  20. Remember to call your Mommy because I might be missing you.
  21. Don't forget to share.
  22. Try everything once. Except bad stuff, like drugs. Try that, and I’ll still ground you no matter what age you are.
  23. Stand up for what you believe in. If it's not right, don't tolerate it. But do it in a smart and respectful way.  
  24. Get your heart broken, and I know you both will. It won't feel like it at the time, but you will be better off for it.  
  25. Make mistakes. Make lots of them. Lord knows your Daddy and I did growing up. The important thing is to learn from them.  
  26. Never get obsessed with your appearance. Nobody likes that.
  27. Never compromise your personal safety. Be smart. Make smart decisions when it comes to your safety.  
  28. Never give less than your best in everything that you do. You won't always meet your goals, and it sounds cliche, but if you do your best, that's all you can do.
  29. Don't be in such a hurry to grow up. Enjoy being a kid, because you only get to do it once.  
  30. Don't ever let anyone tell you that you are not good enough.
  31. There is nothing you can't do.
  32. Your mother is always right. 
  33. No matter what, always call your parents. Whether you drank to much and don't want to drive home. Whether you know we will be mad or disappointed. Whether you are angry at us. No matter what you need to say. No matter what you think we do or don't want to hear. Call us when you need us.
  34. Don't ever forget that you are brother and sister. No matter what happens in your lives, no matter how big the fights are that you will get in (and yes, you will). Always remember you are blood.
  35. Be good to me and your Daddy when we get old. We are going to spend the rest of our lives giving you everything we have, so put us in a nice home when we get senile.
I think that's a pretty good start, so I'll stop at thirty five. Although I think there is probably hundreds more that I could tell you. I'll keep those in my back pocket for now. If I didn't, what else would I nag you about for the rest of your life?

I love you more than life itself.

Love always,

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