Yesterday the boys (all three of them) and I went on a picnic after school. As we went to leave the house, Matty asked if I would carry him. It was one of those moments where I didn’t want to but that tiny voice inside my head kicked in and said, “you’ll only be able to do this for a little while longer”. And so I did. As we walked down the stairs I calculated in my head how many years (?) I had left to carry him around in my arms as though he was light as a feather. I landed on two years. Two years?! Queue the heartbreak. 

Ever since that moment, I’ve been thinking about them being little people, young adults, teenagers, twenty-somethings and adults. My mind has been moving at a rapid pace. Last night I woke up to feed Abbott at 1:15 and I couldn’t fall back to sleep. My mind was preoccupied with all of the hard lessons they have yet to learn, all of the lessons that will break their hearts and eventually (hopefully, please GOD) make them stronger – the lessons I wish I could pass on to them and spare them the heartache, even though I know they’re the sorts of things they’ll have to learn on their own.

But you know what? They may need to learn through experience but I can at least try to prepare them. I mean, I’m a mom, that’s what I’m supposed to do, right? Well, either way:

Marty and Bot,

A list of “small” things to prepare you for navigating life:

“Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me” is LITERALLY the dumbest statement of all time. Don’t say it and don’t buy it. Words are powerful. They have the ability to break a heart, kill a spirit, hinder progress, create monsters and push people over the edge. On the other hand, they have the ability to create communities, inspire action, encourage bravery and pick up the wounded. Words can and most certainly will hurt you but only you can control how deeply. Please don’t let it be too deeply.

People you love will let you down and people you trust will betray you. And it will suck. But at the end of the day, it’s their fucking loss. In your lifetime, a lot of people will love you and never let you down and a lot of people will work hard to earn your trust and value it beyond what you’re able to understand. Some days it will be hard to see the light, but just know your value and know what you deserve. If today is one of those days, here’s a hint: THE MOTHERFUCKING WORLD. Sincerely, Mom.

You will make some really fucking huge mistakes but it will all. be. just. fine. Just trust me on this one. I may be your mom but once I was just a nut job with a wild hair up my ass romping around on the pursuit of pure happiness without a care in the world – which, ironically, is basically the recipe for both fun and disaster. I probably won’t celebrate said mistakes but I do promise it will all be just fine as long as you don’t kill anyone.

Wear every shoe of every person you encounter. Not literally of course, but figuratively you will get so much further in life if you can put yourself in other people’s shoes. Being genuinely empathetic and understanding requires a proper balance of kindness, accountability and humility. Real empathy, though rare, comes naturally to some while to others it never comes at all. If it’s not natural for you, practice by putting yourself in other people’s shoes and trying to understand their reactions, situations and emotions. Do it over and over and over until it becomes part of your communication system.

Your heart is a muscle. Break ups, deaths, broken friendships, broken trust – whatever it is – your heart is a muscle and while it might metaphorically “break” using it will only make it stronger. It and you will be fine. By the time you can read this the Beatles will be even more out of date but they sang a song and it went something like, “ob la di, ob la da, life goes onnnnnn! OH! nah nah nah nah, life goes on” and it’s SO ACCURATE. 

The world is full of assholes. Bullies exist, dick-hole bosses exist, asshole co-workers and teammates exist, douche bag roommates exist and narcissistic dirt bags exist everywhere – and that’s honestly probably only a small fraction of the dogshit people that exist on this planet. Whatever you do, don’t meet them at their level – of course you will from time to time, but don’t make it a habit. Leave them alone to spread their douchery to the minion minds who will follow them. Let them be. Don’t let their hate infiltrate your thoughts. They want to see you at their level but they don’t deserve you down there. Be strong but don’t waste your time – you’ll never change them. I mean, knowing your parents, you’ll want to have way more fun than they could ever offer in the miserable, ugly place they reside anyway.

The people make the place. You can thank your Grandma for this gem. As a tormented young person who insisted on always running from one place to another looking for happiness and feeling a little like a lost soul, I can tell you it took a long time for me to realize that your grandma was right about this one. It’s all about the people and the company you keep. Be with the people who make you happy, the people who have your best interest at heart and those who enhance your shine. If you don’t know where that is, follow where your heart leads you which sounds a like a low-rent Hallmark card but I swear on my life, it will usually lead you away from the bad and into the light.

It’s over when it’s over. Okay, yes, this is a country song but it’s also the truth. Shit ends. It’s over when it’s over. Let it go. Okay, yes, I know that’s another song. But really, honestly, whether it’s a job, a city, a relationship, a friendship or a GD party – it’s over when it’s over. You’ll want to drag it out and give it your 100% but trust me, when you feel like it’s time to walk away, it’s usually time to put it down and walk away. I’m 33 and still trying to learn how to walk away from the party when it’s over, but trust your gut. It’s fucking over when it’s over. 

Ok. That’s all for now, I guess.

Love you so much,
Mom.

I can’t wait for my kids to read this someday and see how “hip” their mom was (is?). 😂