Next Stop: Batty

Hangin' by a thread, here. I'm just sayin'.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Twenty Things...

Dear Taylor and Carly,

Here are 20 things I want you to know about me:

1. I have reported for a newspaper, edited a magazine, helped to run a non-profit, secured many hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant money, taught writing to high school and college students, sung in a professional choir, counseled college students on academics and life, and managed a staff of 40 and a budget of $500,000. And when I quit this last one to raise you, I began the most difficult, most important, most wonderful job of all. No kidding.

2. In high school, my best two friends won "Queen" and "Miss Congeniality" in a pageant I didn't enter. And then they stood in their crowns on my front porch, and told me they didn't want me to go with them to the fair. And it really, really hurt.

3. I married my very best friend, and if you ever choose a life partner, I hope you will do the same.

4. I struggle with trying new things because I don't like change. But every single great thing that has ever happened to me came just after I stepped off some cliff or another. I want you to take risks in life. Do the thing that scares you most. Otherwise, why are you here?

5. When I really lose my temper and yell at you, I know it scares you, and I always say I'm sorry. But that sure isn't good enough for me. So I also say a silent prayer, asking for the strength to be an adult for you (no matter how silly an adult!) -- an adult who can get angry without getting scary. God and I, we're working on that.

6. It took me 37 years (and counting) to truly learn the following: sometimes you have to do what you don't want in order to get what you do want.

7. I never, ever had thin thighs. But the thighs I have are me. I love 'em. Treat your body nice. LOVE it. It'll love you back.

8. I always have a better day if I build in at least 30 minutes to do something creative.

9. I completed a 20K race when I was 28. Your dad and I trained in the rain and through the cold winter. We often ran before the sun came up, or after it went down. We often ran instead of doing what we really wanted to do, because we wanted to be prepared. That race is one of my favorite memories. The experience taught me that I can do just about anything I decide to do.

10. I am going to write a book one day that will get published and lots of people will read it. Dream big, girlies.

11. I am a sailor, and always will be, even if I never set foot on another sailboat. Water, wind, and waves are in my blood. What is in your blood? Be who you are.

12. I always wanted to be a famous Broadway star. Sometimes, when I'm alone in the car and singin' to a soundtrack, I still pretend I am one. Singing uses my body and my brain in a way that makes me feel supremely alive.

13. When I was a teen, I thought if I could JUST have the hair that Shelly Franco had and the clothes that Sue Trifoso had, I would be happy. I thought no one understood that. It wasn't that my folks didn't understand; they just knew I was wrong. Looks and clothes really don't make people happy. But it can be hard to believe that when you're a teen, I know...

14. At bedtime, when I lie with you and say nothing, I am really just waiting for you to talk. These are the times when you really tell me things. And I work so hard to just listen without trying to fix, or teach, or correct. These are the times I hope you'll remember, and keep telling me things. I'll listen. And if you ask me to, I'll listen without saying a thing in response.

15. There are so many times when I am in awe of you. God gave you both such HUGE spirits. Taylor, the way you try despite your fear or misgivings knocks me out -- every time. Carly, the way you try despite other people's warnings and nay-saying makes me more proud than you'll ever know.

16. I make lots and lots and lots of mistakes. Some of them, I can fix. Some of them, I can't. Some of them are small, and some are big. One time, after a really big one I couldn't fix, I ended up in a church in Salzburg, Austria. It was a toursit attraction, but there were no other tourists there. I was tired from all my mistaking, so I laid down on a pew. And then, some nuns began singing the most beautiful simple music I have ever heard. I couldn't see them because they stood behind screens, but their music reminded me that God loves me no matter what mistakes I make, and I can always start again. And when you make a really big mistake (you will, you will), God's not the only one who will keep loving you -- your dad and I will, too.

17. I'm not big on churches, but God is the real deal for me. That old kids' grace says it all: God is good. Where you see goodness around you, and it moves your heart, that ain't no accident. That's what I think.

18. Sometimes, you and I have big adventures, like building a treehouse or going to the ocean. But the simple times -- when we're washing the car and spraying each other with the hose, or drawing pictures together, or cleaning our rooms and finding old memories, or watching a toad, or snuggling the dog -- that's when I think to myself, "yep...this is exactly where I want to be, and right now I have everything I'll ever need."

19. I have written these things down to show that I'm just a person, like you. I have been a kid, and made mistakes, and had hurt feelings, and nurtured big dreams. Just like you. You're not alone. Your mama has been there.

20. I love you more than anything else in this world.



I hope Michelle, from "la vie en rose...A Sweet Life" will be flattered, and not offended, that I was so moved by her letter to her own children, that I decided to try it myself. And thanks to my sis, Shelley, for showing me Michelle's letter in the first place.


At 7:33 PM, Blogger Shelley said...

Wow, really great.

I'm gonna have to do this now, aren't I?

At 6:54 AM, Blogger Tracy said...

yep. don't foget: #14. Your Aunt Tracy is not only beautiful and talented, she is also way big in love with you. (-;

At 11:12 AM, Anonymous Kathy said...

I got all misty. And now you got me thinking...

At 7:38 AM, Anonymous Stacy said...

This made me cry. Of course, I'm a known cryer (crier?). But it was v. sweet.

At 9:53 AM, Anonymous Kelly said...

Lovely, and you have such a beautiful and engaging smile.


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