Dear Iris, on your wedding day, ………
A couple of months ago on an evening our 4 year old was tucked in sleeping for the night my husband and I were talking about our daughter. What did we think she would be when she grew up? Will her spunky attitude still be there when she is 8, 12, or 18? Or will high expectations of the world and insecurities around her dim that flame? When she marries how strong willed and patient will her husband have to be to compliment her energy and confidence but it will also need to be someone who won’t take advantage of the soft, sweet, and considerate side of her who is already so careful not to hurt feelings at such a young age already.
This brought up the letter that is in our safe, a letter to Iris that I wrote for her to read on her wedding day. The letter has been in there 10 months already and will be there for another 20 or so years until her wedding day. Whether she reads it on her own or I read it to her, I recognize life is a gift and can be cut short. In the event that I would not be able to read her that letter on such a big day in her life there are words and advice that I want to come from me. Words that I think only a mother can give. Words that I want her to read before she is married and during her marriage. In good times and bad. You see, I take this mom thing pretty seriously like so many wonderful examples of moms around me, including my own. I want to raise her and teach her and guide her through the highs and the lows of life (when she allows me of course). On that evening I reminded my husband of the letter. His response was “Yes Beck I know, but you will live until you are 90”. Hmmmm…..I wonder how much exercising I can do when I am 90 years old?
That letter brought on other parenting thoughts, what else do I want to tell Iris? What do I want her to experience and learn through example? How can I help this cute little thing be successful in life? What do I want her to know today, tomorrow, and for all the days to come that I can show her. This sparked the thoughts for below.
Dear Iris: This is what I want you to know and feel……..
Not all meals come in a package or frozen. While life is busy and we are all going and coming, sitting down and eating together is important.And at this meal we all eat the same food not different meals for each person. That you will make meals that will taste awful and may even throw out. But as a family will have a great time talking about it and sharing some laughs.
That eating on the go doesn’t mean driving through the drive through. Its eating the lunch that I packed for her that honestly took less then 10 minute to make ( a peanut butter sandwich, string cheese, carrots and apple has way more nutrition than a happy meal). It would take us longer to drive some place and wait in the drive through.
That cookies and desserts are not a bad thing but yet a bonding experience that as mother and daughter we share baking it in the kitchen. It doesn’t come from a package. It comes from the oven with our own hands, making a mess during the process. And its ok to eat these foods, they are a treat, not a meal.
That you will you feel like you never have enough time for any of the above but you need to make time and schedule it like everything else. You will feel like you are too busy, work is too demanding and you are running all over the place. Make it a priority.
When you make a commitment you keep it. Dont run from things. Only speak words you mean. That we all make mistakes. Big ones. But those who love us unconditionally will always be there for you.
That things break. But they can be put back together. Something new doesn’t have to be put in its place. Take the time to mend relationships. Glue, sew, refurbish material things.
We are women and we are strong. We can throw on heels and a dress for an evening out. Reel in a 30lb salmon. Deer hunt with the boys. Paint a house, mow a lawn and bake a cake. Do it all with passion and with those you love. Love your friends like they are family and don’t miss a chance to tell them how much they mean. You never know when your last conversation with them will be.
As a woman you will never feel perfect. Perfect doesn’t exist. Shut out the voices that are telling you that you are not enough. Recognize that everyone including yourself is unique and appreciate it. And never lose sight how you make others feel.
If one day when Iris is grown up having a conversation with a friend and tells them that she learned even a handful of these things from her mother and father I will have some major mommy pride.
Life is worth living, not worrying about how we look or what others think of us. We will constantly be working on being better. Thats not always a bad thing….just enjoy the journey.
p.s. Thank you mom. Numbers 1-8 I learned from you.