Apr 13

Following Water and Watching Ants…

A stomach bug is currently trying to take over our household, and as completely miserable as that is (seriously, how utterly lousy is a stomach bug??) the forced break and sort of “reset” on life is timely and important. Tegan was sad to have missed a fun field trip on Friday, I had to cancel plans with a friend yesterday, and finally accepting the inevitable, we cleared the calendar for today as well.

For the moment, we’re home. As long as we need.

We’ve been busy lately. A good busy… but busy nonetheless. A friend recently asked me what we’d been so busy doing, and I didn’t have an immediate answer. It’s just been an active season all across the board. More playdates, more field trips, more activities, more plans. Which always leads to a not-so-subtle reminder of the importance of living in the moment. Otherwise, I make myself crazy.

There was a time when even two things scheduled in the same day would stress me out. I couldn’t enjoy a playdate in the morning, because my head was too wrapped up in thinking about getting them to gymnastics in the afternoon. Oh but these kids, especially Tegan… if they’ve taught me anything, it’s that I can’t live that way. Life is in the moments, not in the plans.

Last week, the kids helped me wash the car. Tegan had been asking for awhile, and it’s finally been hot enough to want to get wet lately.

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One of the girl’s favorite things to do after we wash the car is to put on our shoes, and follow the water down the street.   Like a stomach bug, but without the misery and ick, that walk always serves as a little time-out from life.  We chat and laugh and follow the stream (sometimes walking in the stream) as it goes to the end of our street, around the corner, across to the other side, and down down down along the curb until it finally stops – usually spreading into a thin little pool in the cement wash between two of our neighbor’s houses.  We stand and watch while it reaches out and eventually disappears, thin little fingers of water evaporating in the sun.

This most recent time, our water walk took even longer than usual, because she stopped to examine some ants along the way.

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We’d had plans that morning, and plans later again that day, but right then, in that moment… the only thing that mattered was following the water and watching the ants.  That’s it.  Not to-do lists, not errands, not playdates, not field trips, not yoga classes.

Water and ants.   A happy girl,  a moment, and a memory.

And I think that when you strip it all down, beneath all the flowery language and philosophical soap-boxing, all my parenting and unschooling advice can be summed up in those few words:

Follow the water.  Watch the ants. 

Say yes.  And be there, with your whole heart.

I have regrets as a parent to be sure.  Things I wish I’d done differently.  Things I wish I’d said “yes” to.  Things I wish I would have researched more carefully and didn’t say yes to.  But I have no doubts that I will never, ever regret taking the time to follow the water and watch the ants.


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Apr 07

Whatever You Did for One of the Least of These… Some Thoughts About World Vision

Alice is a 6 year old girl who lives in Rwanda.  She has big brown eyes, her favorite thing to play is ball games, and she likes to sing.

Jordan is 4.  He lives in Ecuador, has a sweet smile, and loves to play soccer.

Dominic is an 8 year old from Ghana.  His pictures show a gentle soul.  His favorite pastime is rolling tires, and his favorite thing to learn about is science.

All of the above are real children, waiting to be sponsored through World Vision.  I share this with you not to make you feel guilty.  The truth is, I don’t sponsor a child.  In fact, I’ve never personally sponsored a child through World Vision or any other organization.  We’ve mostly chosen to give our money locally, and/or to causes or people that we know personally.  Also, the decision to sponsor a child is a commitment, one that needs to be honored, month after month.  Making such a commitment wasn’t always the best choice for our family, especially during the months and years that we ourselves struggled to make ends meet and put food on the table.

Now though, I’m seriously considering it.  Not just in response to the recent fallout, but also because I think we have a responsibility…. not just as Christians, but as living, breathing, caring human beings who share this planet… to step in and help those who are less fortunate, especially when they’ve been turned away by others. Of this, I am sure.  And I’d certainly like to think that the vast majority of people reading these words would agree. We’re here to help each other.

So where on earth did we go wrong?

Here’s a bit of timeline, for those who are unclear on the details:

 

On March 24th, World Vision (an organization started and run by evangelical Christians) announced that – after much deliberation over the years – their new hiring policy would allow them to hire those in same-sex marriages.

Over the next 48 hours, they were inundated with messages, phone calls, and Facebook posts from angry Christians who disagreed with their decision, and who promptly pulled their sponsorships and support of World Vision.

On March 26th, faced with dropping sponsorships in the thousands,  the people of World Vision felt they had no choice but to officially reverse their decision.

All told, 10,000 children were abandoned by their sponsors.

 

I truly don’t think I’ve ever been as heartbroken or disappointed by my fellow Christians’ behavior as I am over this. And make no mistake.  This is not about homosexuality.  This is about people hurting hungry kids to make a point. This is about taking food from the mouth of a child to take a theological stand.  It’s about people who are clinging so tightly to a belief…. so desperately… so stubbornly… that they’ve completely lost sight of what it is they are holding. How sound is your theology if it causes you, in any way, to take food from a hungry child? How is it showing God’s love if your stance against a group of people – any people – is so great that you’re literally willing to use an impoverished child to make your point?

What difference does it make if Rachel in payroll is married to a woman??

10,000 kids.  I’ve already heard people saying, “Oh that number must be exaggerated.”  I do tend to trust the number, especially since it was given by the president of World Vision himself, but for the sake of argument let’s say it’s exaggerated.  What if it was “only” 1,000?  Would that be okay?  What if it was 100?  10?  What’s an acceptable number of hungry kids left without a sponsor?

The Bible tells a parable of a lost sheep, and a shepherd who so loves and cares for every individual sheep that he will leave 99 sheep behind to go find the one that is lost.  (Matthew 15) Every person is important. Every life is important.

But the more I think about this, the more I realize that the “lost sheep” in this scenario are the ones who honestly believed that the Christ-like thing to do was to take their money away from these children.  I have no other way to reconcile this in my mind.  Those people are lost, and I don’t know how to reach them.

I hear a lot of comments to the effect of, “What’s the big deal?  So they’ll just take their money to another organization whose morals line up with their own.”  Well, first of all, you won’t find one.  These organizations are made up of people… imperfect people, every one of which is going to do something in his or her own personal life that you deem inappropriate.  Second, and most importantly, it’s not just a hypothetical, abstract organization that you’re pulling away from.  It’s a child, with a name, and a face, and a real need that you were filling.

It’s Alice from Rwanda.

It’s Jordan from Ecuador.

It’s Dominic from Ghana.

I’m tired.  I’m tired of these difficult conversations.  I’m tired of trying to explain something that’s unexplainable to my kids.  I’m tired of people using a God that I love to defend some pretty horrible things.  There are so very many shades of grey in this world, but this isn’t one of them. God does not approve of turning your back on a hungry kid.  Jesus does not approve of turning your back on a hungry kid.  In fact, it is the absolute opposite message of that very same Bible that you’re using to justify this.

 

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

 

I am devastated right now.  I am angry.  And to be totally honest, my first reaction when I heard about all of this was truly, “I. Give. Up.”  But I know that’s not the answer.  Now more than ever is the time to stand together… Christians and non-Christians alike.  Gay, straight, conservative, liberal…. everyone who can see this situation for what it is, and to recognize that there was a clear right and wrong here.  Stand together, speak boldly, and say,

“No more.”


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Apr 02

Trips, Unschooling Conferences, and a No-Spank Challenge

I am writing this from a fancy hotel, the kind I’d never stay at unless someone else was paying the bill.  The kids and I accompanied the husband on a work trip, and will be visiting friends, hiking and site-seeing while he’s at his meetings.

The view is not half bad.

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Every time I go away, even if it’s just for a day or two, I always think I’ll catch up on reading, on writing, on all those little things I never get to do.  But nope, it turns out this mama’s TIRED. So all I can bring myself to do is just… sit.  Rest.  Regroup.  Be.

Two super important things before I get back to “being” though:

1)  Have you signed up for the No-Spank Challenge yet?  This is a free, collaborative event between over 25 gentle parenting advocates (myself included), and will give you daily tips, tools, and resources to help you out on your gentle parenting journey.  It lasts throughout the entire month of April, and it’s not too late to register!  Get daily inspiration delivered right to your email box.  And,

2)  If you’re planning on joining us at the Free To Be Unschooling Conference in September, April is a GREAT month to register. From now until the end of the month, for every family registration we receive, we will be putting $10 directly into our scholarship fund.  This means that it doesn’t cost you any extra, but you will know that you’re directly helping another family get to Free To Be!   We want to help as many people get there as possible, so this is a great way to work together to make it happen.

That’s all.  As always, thanks for being here and being awesome.  Happy April!


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Mar 26

Finding Balance

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For the past month, I’ve been participating in a yoga challenge on Instagram.  There’s a new pose every day, and the idea is to simply share of photo of you doing said pose.  It’s been a fun little challenge, if for no other reason than because I really didn’t have any pictures of myself doing yoga, and now I do.  I obviously love all kinds of yoga, or I wouldn’t have become a teacher.  I love how strong it makes me feel, how connected and in touch with my own body. My favorite poses to learn and work on though are the balance poses, the ones my teachers affectionately referred to as the “party tricks” of yoga.

For one thing, they’re just super fun.  More than that though, is that natural high you get after trying and trying, that moment when everything’s aligned, your body is just humming, and if even for just a second…… you balance.

That feeling is amazing.

And because life is one big interconnected circle, the same holds true for parenting.  My biggest personal challenge for the entire 17+ years I’ve been a parent has been finding and maintaining balance.  It’s the great question that no one else could answer for me….. how do I do it?  How do I fix my alignment when its off?  How do I balance being a present and involved mom to my kids, and a present and involved wife to my husband?  How do I balance taking care of the kids, and the house, and life… and still have time for my own hobbies, my own professional or personal pursuits, my own self-care?

What I eventually realized (after a lot, a lot a lot, of stumbling followed by unproductive self-flagellation) is that you can’t have perfect balance all the time.  Life doesn’t work like that.  Life ebbs and flows in seasons. Sometimes one thing or person needs more or less of our attention than at other times.  Equilibrium is found in the overall journey, but only through a million little ever-changing, in-the-moment decisions.   Even now, just choosing to take the time to write this blog post means I’m not emptying the dishwasher, or answering any emails, or doing any conference planning.

And that’s okay!   It absolutely has to be okay, because the alternative is to believe that I can do ALL the things, ALL the time, and to beat myself up if I don’t.  And that’s really not acceptable to me.  So for now, I write.  I write with 100% of my being.  And in 15 minutes or an hour when a sleepy little voice calls out, “Mama!  Come!”, I’ll go to her with 100% of my being too.  And the dance will continue.  Some days humming along, as well orchestrated as a symphony…. and others an awkward limp, full of stops and starts and missteps, the saving grace being that there’s a new moment, a better moment, coming down the pike.

Much like finding balance in yoga, finding balance in life is an ongoing process.  Sure, you learn some “tricks” along the way, things that make it easier, but there’s always more to learn. Always a need to up your game. Always a new trickier pose as it were.  It’s a fluid, living organism, one you can only understand if you’re right there in the moment.  Not worrying about tomorrow, not stressing about yesterday, but being right here. Right now.  Breathing… Trusting…

Knowing that if you just stay with it, you’ll eventually have it.  Those toes will eventually come off the ground,

and you’ll balance.


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Mar 18

#100HappyDays

If you’re on any kind of social media, chances are you’ve been seeing the hashtag #100happydays (or one of its variants) over and over. I ignored it for the first several weeks, for no other reason than the fact that I’m stubborn, and have a tendency to dig in my virtual heels at the first sign of new things coming through my feed. “Lalalalala, I can’t hear you. No, I do NOT want to join in on your challenge/group/club/whatever-sort-of-100-somethings-in-100-days that you’re promoting.

It’s clearly one of my best qualities.

Anyway, as is usually the case, I got over myself and went and looked at the link. I’m so glad I did! I’ve done projects like this before (in its simplest form, finding and acknowledging something – large or small – that makes you happy every day for 100 days), but never through pictures. It’s been so amazing! I’m not even 30 days in, and I’m finding that the hardest part is just narrowing it down to which happy thing I’m going to share.

My days are full of happy…. even the not-so-great days. And focusing on the happy moments likewise makes me see more happy moments.

If you’ve been having trouble finding your happy, give it a try. You can start any time.

Here are just a few of my pictures from the past month. I can’t wait to see what I’m going to add over the next 70 something days.

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Girl’s night

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Quiet time in the morning

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Some of my favorite things.

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Science Center and new friends.

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Glasses that finally fit right.

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Hatched butterflies!

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An arena football game with my guys.

And the happiness goes on….

You can follow my journey on Instagram here.


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Mar 14

First Impressions, and The Worst Part about Blogging

A happy bird.

A happy bird.

I realized something sort of huge tonight.

All this time, I thought that the thing I liked least about blogging was the negative comments.  If you asked me, even this morning, I wouldn’t have hesitated.  ”The negative comments! The people who call me names, the people who call me judgmental, the people who make unfair assumptions!” And don’t get me wrong, I don’t like that part.  It’s not enjoyable.

But it’s not the worst part.

Tonight I was told that I “justified judgement, arrogance, and condemnation.” Now that’s certainly not the worst thing anyone’s ever said about me (heck, it probably wouldn’t even make it into the top ten), but it still stung.  Because while I can intellectually realize that what strangers say about me doesn’t matter, and that what other people think about me is none of my business, and all those other cliches that everyone likes to remind me of when I start to feel beat down by the negativity….. emotionally is another story.

Us introverted writers are a sensitive bunch.

But after I followed a dear friend’s advice and hugged a kid, hugged a cat, and had a drink (in exactly that order) I realized that I’ve been bothered by the wrong thing all along.  I really didn’t care what this stranger had said about me.  What I cared about was the fact that in that moment, in that blog post, to that woman…

I had failed.

When someone follows a link and comes to my blog for the first time, I have ONE chance to win them over.  And I don’t mean “win them over” in a slick salesman, motivational speaker kind of way.  I don’t profit in any way from my blog, and I have never written with a goal of getting more readers.  But I do want to connect.

I don’t like superficiality, I’m terrible at small talk, and I’ve never been accused of being the life of the party.  But if you want to have an actual conversation?  I’m your girl.  Which is why, when someone comes to my blog and promptly decides I’m judgmental/arrogant/a generally sucky person based on one post…. I feel like I failed. Conversation’s over before it started.  ”But she doesn’t even know me!” I’ll often lament to husband, who will respond with something to the effect of, “That’s right, so why would it matter?”

It matters because maybe we could have had a conversation.  Maybe we could have connected in some positive way.  Maybe you hated, absolutely HATED the first blog post you read by me…. but would have loved the next twenty.  Maybe you would have discovered I’m not so awful after all.

I’ve carried a little metal link on my key chain for the past several years.  (It was given to me by a Church of Christ minister, lest you read my story and I think that I only harbor negative memories.  I don’t)  It serves as a reminder that we never know when God might use us as a link for somebody else.  A link to God, a link to kindness, a link to compassion.

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The really great thing about blogging is that it allows me to be that link fairly often.  Connecting with others and supporting each other on our journeys is sometimes the only thing that keeps me from pulling the whole thing down.  I get that not everyone is here to connect, and/or thinks I’m a terrible writer or has zero interest in anything I have to say.   That’s cool too, when you leave quietly and I don’t have to actually be made privy to anything I just mentioned.

Oh, but the ones who come out of the gate with the insults……

I try to give the benefit of the doubt, because their first impression of me is also my first impression of them. But, well, it’s hard to shake hands with a fist.

And so, I’ve nothing to do but to think of the quote from What About Bob:

 

You know what I do? I treat people like they’re telephones. If I meet somebody who I don’t think likes me I just say to myself ‘Bob, this one’s out of order. Just hang up and try again.”

Out of order phones. I just need to think of it – of them – as out of order phones. If for no other reason, because it’s a whole lot better than thinking that I failed.


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Mar 06

Milestones

Yesterday, after a month of waiting and wiggling and equal parts elation and anxiety… Tegan lost her first tooth. It came off in her hand, as she sat twisting it in front of the bathroom mirror.

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And proud of it.

Aside from thinking that she’s about the most adorable gap-toothed kid I have ever seen, I’m nearly drowning in the bittersweet milestones.  One by one, my baby (my last baby!) is ticking “firsts” off the list.   Yesterday, after the tooth had come out, we’d stopped the little bit of bleeding, and she’d come down off of the adrenaline rush that had her both crying and laughing for a good several minutes, we had the following conversation:

 

I am getting so big!!

You are.

I lost my tooth…

Yep.

I got my ears pierced…

You sure did.

I can climb the wiggly ladder at the park…

I know; it’s awesome.  You’re not going to want to start kissing boys soon are you?

Mommy EW!!!  GROSS.

 

She’s growing up.  But it appears we still have some time before we have to deal with boys and kissing, so I guess there’s that.  She did joke that we’ll probably have to take her shopping for a bra soon (she’s six), and with the speed at which her first six years have gone, “soon” is actually not too much of a misnomer.

Heaven help us.


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Mar 03

Dreadlocks, 26 Months

I am cracking up because 1)  They were extra crazy today because I slept with them in a bun last night,  2) After watching both this video and the one from when they were 8 months, I realized I said many of the same exact things, and 3) A public speaker I am not.  But people are always so curious, so here they are, at just over two years.

 


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Feb 24

And They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our Arrogance, Judgment, and Intolerance

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“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.

(Matthew 22:36-40)

 

I grew up in a small, conservative church in New England.  It’s been many years since I’ve gone to that particular denomination with any regularity, but the hymns we sang every Sunday are forever burned into my consciousness.  I remember one song, the touchy-feely emotional type that I outwardly avoided – but secretly loved – that had a chorus that went like this:

And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love.  Yes, they’ll know we our Christians by our love…

I’ve been thinking about that lyric a lot the past couple of days, partly because once something gets stuck in your head it’s there until it’s replaced by something else… but mostly because my social media newsfeeds have been inundated with opinions on this asinine new bill being considered in Arizona; a bill that makes it expressly legal for a business to discriminate against someone – without the fear of a lawsuit – if you feel that not doing so would threaten your religious freedom in some way.

I’m incapable of mincing words at this point, so forgive my bluntness when I say:

What the hell are we doing?

Everyone who’s defending this bill has made essentially the same argument. We have to protect our religious rights! We have to defend what’s right and pure! We have to stand by our biblical principles!

And you know what? I agree. Religious rights are important, and I’m thankful that we have them. I can go to church whenever I want. I can read a Bible while I’m riding on the light rail. I can wear a cross around my neck, and a Jesus fish on my car. I can talk about, or write about, my faith wherever I go. I can accept and respect other people’s religions, and I can appreciate and embrace our differences.

If I stand for anything, it’s for what’s right and pure.

And as for biblical principles – real biblical principles of goodness, kindness, compassion and love – you will not find a bigger supporter. I love the Bible. I love what it’s taught me, and continues to teach me. I love what it’s revealed to me over the past 40 years. I love its story. I love its message of a God who so “loved the world that He gave his only begotten son.” But here’s what I’m wondering…

I’m wondering what part of, “Love your neighbor” is getting confused as, “Love your neighbor unless you disagree with his lifestyle. Love your neighbor unless he’s a liberal. Love your neighbor unless he’s gay.” And before you can say it, I’m not talking about, “Love the sinner, hate the sin” either. I’m talking about JUST LOVING, period, and leaving everything else up to the individual and to God.

I think of Jesus in the Bible and I think of the person “in the trenches.” I think of the guy who was hanging out with the people that no one else would give the time of day. I think of the soul who was spending timing with the tax collectors, breaking bread with the lepers, and conversing with the prostitutes. I think of someone who was healing the sick, helping the poor, and raising the dead.

I do not think of a person who would refuse to serve someone, based on creed or religion or skin color or sexuality. I do not think of a person who would walk away from someone – from anyone – when He had an opportunity to be kind to them, to love them, to minister to them.

I think of Jesus in the Bible, and I wonder how we’ve strayed so far. So far that we’ve forgotten what we were supposed to be doing in the first place. So far that when I think of people who actually emulate Jesus that His followers are the very last people who come to mind.

When did being a Christian become synonymous with using the Bible to brow-beat everyone? When did being a Christian become synonymous with arrogant grandstanding, a tit-for-tat war of words and actions to prove that you’re more Godly, more virtuous than everyone around you? When did being a Christian become about defending conservative reality TV stars, no matter how inflammatory and vulgar their message?

When did being a Christian become about standing behind a ridiculous, intolerant bill that celebrates turning people away, playing judge and jury on others’ lives, and isolating and separating yourself from the very people (ie: ALL people) that you’re asked – commanded really – to love.

Somewhere along the way, this is exactly what happened.

I see the comments from my non-Christian friends… comments about how judgmental Christians are. How arrogant. How intolerant. How cruel. I see the comments and I cringe. Cringe because the comments are hurtful, and cringe because I know they’re right. I’m no stranger to cruel comments on my blog, and the worst – by far – are from my fellow Christians. Often under the guise of “saving” me of course, but cruel nonetheless. And each time… EVERY time… I can’t help but wonder, if I, a fellow believer, am so disappointed and disillusioned with God’s people and their actions, how on earth can they be reaching and encouraging others?

Spoiler: They can’t. They’re not.

We’re missing the boat here, in a big big way.

Christians, we can do better than this. We have to do better than this. I want that old hymn to be true. I so badly want it to be true. Right now, I just don’t think it is. And bills like Senate bill 1062? They’re a giant step in the wrong direction.

I write this to you as a very flawed, imperfect follower of Christ. Lord knows I have my own work to do in the department of loving others. But it seems to me if we can all – all of us – do a little less quoting of cherry picked scriptures like Leviticus 18:22, and a little more living of scriptures like Matthew 7:3, the world would be a much better place.


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Feb 22

To Tegan, The Best Surprise of my Life

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Six years ago today, we went to the hospital for an induction after a long, complicated pregnancy, and a long, frustratingly stalled labor.  We were blessed that morning with a gorgeous little girl… a brand-new experience after three lovely boys.  And what an experience it’s been!   I’ve learned more in the past six years than I ever thought possible.  About myself, about parenting, and about life.  To my daughter, who’s changed my life in so many many beautiful ways:

Dear Tegan,

I am watching you as a write this.  You’re sitting across from me, in your new clothes, tired and happy (oh so happy!) after a successful birthday party.  You’re snacking on carrots and dip and donuts while you watch Good Luck Charlie.  You’ve let down your braid, you’ve played with every single one of your new toys, and you’ve recounted all your favorite party moments with your friends.  You look so big that it makes my breath catch.

I can’t believe my baby’s six.

Just like with your brothers, my heart is forever marked with memories from your birth. The one that still resonates, the one that if I close my eyes I can still feel as acutely as I did six years ago, is the moment that we heard, “It’s a girl.”  Yours was our only pregnancy that we let the gender be a surprise.  And oh what a surprise it was!  You’d think that it’d be hard not to find out, after we’d found out for your three brothers.  But it wasn’t.  It was exciting.  I couldn’t wait to find out who you were…. boy or girl,  Gavin or Tegan.   Everyone always asked if I had a feeling one way or the other, but I really didn’t. And I know that some people have a preference, but I didn’t have that either.  I would have been thrilled with a fourth boy, just as I was thrilled with you.  I think if I’m being honest though, I was expecting another boy, but only because that was the only kind of baby we’d made so far.  So that moment, that moment when the midwife turned you over and we all saw at once that you were a girl:  it was the biggest and happiest surprise I’d ever had.  Nothing before or since has even come close.

A girl.

You were so, so beautiful, and you still are.  You were, and always will be, our princess.

And I know, I know, they say you’re not supposed to call your daughter a princess. You’re supposed to tell her she’s strong and intelligent  instead.  Well, you know what? You are a princess.  You are beautiful. You are strong.  You are intelligent.

You’re a firecracker.

You’re a goof ball.

You’re loving.

You’re confident.

You’re funny.

You’re sweet.

You’re a bundle of energy and one-liners.

You’re authentically and unequivocally YOU.

You’re someone who knows – even at six – exactly what she wants, and exactly how she wants to get it.

Tegan, you have taught me so much.  I think more than anything, you’ve taught me to ENJOY LIFE.  You’ve taught me to embrace the moment.  You’ve taught me to stop and smell the flowers (plus, you’ve taught me to literally stop and smell the flowers)  You’ve taught me to play harder, to live louder, and to love bigger.

And as I sit here and look at you, looking so, so grown up… I wonder if you know.  I wonder if you have any idea how much I love you.  Any idea what it means to love someone so much it hurts.  So much you’d give your life for them.

You tell me you want to be the next Katy Perry some day.  You want to entertain the world as much as you’ve entertained me.  And while I will support you every step of the way, and don’t doubt for one second that you could do it if that’s what you choose, what I hope and pray for you is both simpler and more profound.

If you can love, and be loved, even a fraction as much as I love you right now… I’ll be happy.

Thank you, for six of the best years of my life.


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