Happy new year, baby! It’s 2016 now and unfortunately you’ll have to get really good at subtracting 16 in order to remember how old you are. (Sorry not sorry we didn’t wait 4 years to birth you in a nice round number year.) You’ll be arriving in four months or less! (Any time after 3:00pm on April 29 is fine.) In case you haven’t noticed, Mommy likes to plan things even though she
doesn’t can’t always stick with the plan. And she’s fully aware that your sole job for the next 3-18 years is probably to disrupt those plans. Nevertheless.
Every year at New Year’s, grown-ups like to do something called make resolutions, which are kind of a cross between a desire and a goal and a plan. The success of these resolutions usually depends on the ratio of desire to goal to plan. Mommy’s only real resolution for this year boils down to, “Survive and don’t kill anything.” (Mommy is also prone to dramatic hyperbole.)
She knows that when it comes to parenting, she probably can’t even promise to try all the time…she can only promise to try to try. She hasn’t gotten around to setting any goals for this year yet, and she won’t set any goals for you because that’s up to you when you’re a little older. (For now, yours and hers are probably the same: LIVE.)
But she does have some desires for you, Baby, and for herself as a mother. Desires aren’t the same as goals or plans. But they’re a good starting point, because human beings (and especially Mommy) work a lot harder for things (or experiences or qualities or relationships) they actually want. And once you know what you want, you can set goals to help steer you toward those things. And once you have goals, you can make plans.
Mommy tries to do this backwards sometimes, so she’s going to tell you know some of the things she really wants for you and our family. These aren’t meant to be burdensome expectations or obligations…just desires.
Mommy wants for you…
- to know that you are unconditionally loved at all times, not just by Mommy and Daddy, but by God, your family, and friends.
- to be curious and wondering.
- to feel free to ask questions and willing to accept uncertainty (when you are developmentally ready).
- to enjoy good food and healthy exercise.
- to find true friends throughout your life who challenge you to grow.
- to enjoy your own company.
- to keep the unbridled acceptance and compassion of childhood as long as possible.
- to find and express your own voice without fear or shame.
- to live knowing that you are everything enough.
- to love yourself the way we love you already.
- to have better survival skills than she does.
- to model a loving and supportive relationship with Daddy.
- to prepare you for, not protect you from, disappointment and difficulty.
- to encourage your creativity and curiosity.
- to discipline with love and logic, not fear or anger.
- to set healthy boundaries while you are young and teach you how to set your own and respect those of others as you get older.
- to provide a safe, though not sheltered, environment in which to grow.
- to help you become your best self.
Mommy can’t promise to deliver all these things all the time, Baby. But these desires guide her actions and decisions even now, and above all else she wants you to grow up happy, healthy, and strong. See you in four months, Baby!