When you were little, I spent my days feeding you and changing you, teaching you how to walk and talk and how to listen, too. I kissed your boo-boos and scooped you into my arms when you were sad. I helped you learn your ABCs and walked you through all those big milestones you met as you grew older and stronger and smarter with age.
And as we traveled this road together, you learned all the values our family upholds.
You’ve learned how important it is to be kind to others and even get along with those you don’t like. You’ve learned to mind your manners and your business and always play by the rules. We’ve practiced ways you can manage your frustrations and persevere through tough challenges. And we’ve endured many difficult moments where you learned that despite working hard, sometimes life doesn’t always go your way.
We’ve covered a lot of ground since you’ve been born and it seems you’ve learned many lessons well.
But it’s in your teen years where you’ll be put to the test on it all.
We’re at that turn in the road where I don’t always belong by your side. It’s this stretch of the path where my parenting changes and shifts in new ways.
Now, I will become your Reminder.
You see, sometimes it gets hard to remember all the important things you’ve learned.
Sometimes, you might even forget.
It’s in these teen years where things get messy and those simple lessons can suddenly get quite complicated amidst the aches and overwhelm of being your age. So don’t be mad if I feel the need to remind you.
Also? You still haven’t completely nailed down those basic life skills yet, so there’s that.
As you begin to pave your own path without me always by your side, it’s my job to be your reminder of all the little things you learned and all the big things I never want you to forget.
I will remind you that not wearing a coat in sub-zero weather is stupid and dangerous.
I will remind you to get to bed when you lose track of time.
I will remind you that hygiene is a critical component to your well-being (and everyone else’s around you).
I will remind you to pick up after yourself because no one wants to live with a slob.
I will remind you to manage your time efficiently so you aren’t scrambling at the last minute to get things done.
I will remind you to act responsibly when you are out with your friends and stick to your principles no matter the cost.
I will remind you to be polite to your teachers, your coaches, and any adults who deserve respect.
I will remind you to pick healthy snacks to nourish your body, instead of choosing that bag of Cheetos, those candy bars, or that one lone cupcake on the counter.
I will remind you to email your teacher about re-scheduling your test or text your coach about missing that practice.
I will remind you to always prepare for the day ahead of time, so you don’t forget anything.
I will remind you to play by the rules, uphold the laws, and stay honest.
I will remind you not to compromise your values for anyone.
I will remind you that fitting in is over-rated.
I will remind you that who you are is enough.
I will remind you that your personality, your abilities, your ideas are all gifts that no one else has.
I will remind you that sometimes things in life won’t go your way.
I will remind you that life’s not fair but how you handle the setbacks is most important.
I will remind you that doing hard things will make you stronger.
I will remind you not to compare yourself to others and to stay in your own lane.
I will remind you that you were created on purpose, for a purpose.
I remind you that you will never be like anyone else because you were not designed to be.
I will remind you to treat others the way you want to be treated.
I will remind you to respect everyone, no matter how different they are than you.
I will remind you that everything you say and do matters.
I will remind you that it doesn’t matter how people feel about you, what’s most important is how you feel about yourself.
I will remind you to teach people how to treat you.
I will remind you that nothing comes easy and hard work pays off.
I will remind you to choose your friends wisely and then, be a good friend.
I will remind you that what the world says about beauty and success is distorted and deceptive.
I will remind you not to believe everything you see or read.
I will remind you that your worth is not measured by how many likes you get on your picture.
I will remind you that you are capable of pursuing your dreams.
I will remind you that no matter what mistakes you make, you will always be loved.
I will remind you that not everyone will like you and that’s okay.
I will remind you that you have the rest of your life to learn and grow and figure things out for yourself.
I will remind you to pick your priorities and stick with them.
I will remind you that one bad moment does not define your life.
I will remind you to be brave in the midst of conflict and wise in how you handle it.
I will remind you that failure is always fertile ground for growth.
I will remind you that self-care will sustain you when you’re stressed.
I will remind you that your feelings are always valid and valued.
I will remind you that sometimes doing the right thing is the hardest thing to do.
I will remind you that facing your fears can often bring you freedom.
I will remind you that broken hearts do heal.
I will remind you to have fun, find joy, and be good to yourself.
I will remind you that no matter how hard life gets, you always have a family who loves you.
And even after you leave, I’ll keep reminding you of these things because sometimes we all need these reminders no matter how far down the road we get.