Today our son turns five. How is that even possible? He is our baby. Eeek. I know time flies. That certainly isn’t a new concept. But it seems to sting a bit more as time goes on. I want to freeze time and take it all in. I want to bottle up the joy and innocence. I am so very proud and lucky to be Grady’s mommy. He boasts an inner joy and light that touches my heart every day. While he is not reading yet and is still quite young for most of this, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to write down ten things I really want my son to know. While the words may be beyond his years, the sentiments and lessons are things we have been trying to teach him since day one.
1. I am proud of you. I am proud of the person you are and thank God for you each and every second of every day.
2. Be nice to girls. All girls, young and old. They are to be respected and treated with kindness. Open doors, pull out chairs, send flowers, and give compliments. It is never cool to be anything other than respectful and kind.
3. Call home. Home is where mommy and daddy are and it will always be home. Call us when you are fearful or in doubt. We may not always tell you what to do, but we will guide you with loving hearts and minds.
4. Stay close to your sister. She is a force to be reckoned with and the two of you make an amazing team. Cherish the friendship you have created and always give it the love and attention it deserves. And when it comes to choosing between friends and your sister, always choose your sister.
5. Save your pennies. It is always wise to be smart with your money. Save for a rainy day and for giving to others. There will always be something that needs fixing. There will always be a bill that you need to pay or one that you wish to pay for someone else.
6. Experience life. Jump in and don’t look back. You are smart and sensible and have good instincts. Cling to that while you take chances and savor the silly, the exciting, and the adventurous. Life is undoubtedly what you make of it. Make if grand. Make it your own.
7. Fall in love and get your heart broken. While it will pain me to see you experience any heartbreak, it will make you more understanding of the power of love and the safety of unconditional love. One day you will choose a woman who is your best friend. Love her, honor her, make her laugh and tell her what she means to you everyday. Oh, and don’t forget to tell your mom, too!
8. Observe your father. He is a wonderful man. He is intelligent, witty, caring, compassionate and wise. Allow him to guide you and share all that he has learned. While you will always be your own person, your dad is a role model that comes along once in a lifetime. Be thankful for him.
9. There is more to life than carbohydrates. Eat your vegetables. Please. 10. Above all else remember you are a child of God. In you, he created a unique being blessed with an able body and mind. Do him proud. Search within to use your talents and intelligence for good. Blessings lie within you so that you might pave a more joyful journey for all you meet.
Mommy and Daddy love you. Happy Birthday, sweet boy.