Friday, June 24, 2011

Anna's Preschool Graduation Day

Anna actually "graduated" at the beginning of the month, but I'm a slacker. :) Anyway, it was so much fun. It's always fun to see her in her little world with all of her friends and her teachers. There was a pinata, which she loved. There was food and candy and all kinds of good things. This wasn't a true graduation for Anna. Unfortunately she has to wait another year before going to kindergarten due to her birthday. Paul and I personally believe she's smart enough to go on, but she's still too young. I'm sure she'll miss her friends next year and it breaks my heart that she won't have her best friend Clark by her side next year, but I'm sure she'll make a new best friend and she'll make many more between now and the time she graduates from college. I'll just try not to worry about it much. :)

Dear Daughter

Dear Anna,

You are four now, but you'll always be my baby girl. When you graduate from kindergarten, you'll be my baby girl. When you graduate high school and college, I'll weep because you're my baby girl. When you hold your own children, freshly born, I'll look on you in pride - because you are my baby girl.

I'm proud of you. It's as simple as that. I've snapped thousands of pictures of you over the years because the years just keep flying by. Seeing you grow is both wonderful and horrifying. Horrifying, why? Because it's going by so fast! It's a blur! It truly is. You're my darling girl. I love you so much. Sometimes I've been afraid that I could possibly love another child like I love you. I love you that much. Of course, seeing your baby brother has changed all of that. It's a different love, but an equal love. Motherhood is a mystery, I suppose. It's a mystery followed by a mystery followed by more mysteries. You wonder how you'll possibly be able to do something and then it magically works out. Well, maybe it's not magic. It's just motherhood. It's one of those amazing things. One of those inexplicable things.

My wishes for you, my child, my first born, the one who taught me how to mother are as follows: I want for you to never forget your Father. People come and out of our lives. They come, they leave, they die. Sometimes they hurt you. Sometimes they don't. But there is One who never hurts and never leaves. I'm not perfect. I've forgotten on many occasions, but when I remember or come around to remembering, the clouds part.

Earthly things. Deep friendships, wonderful memories, love and family, fulfilling missions, forgiveness, peace, education, learning, people to look up to academically and spiritually, a friendship that is deep and lasting with your brother, a realization that no matter what there is always something worse (not better... worse... why? because thankfulness is a good perspective in life), kindness, charity... And every good thing in life.

I love you, my spunky, silly, smart, athletic, goofy, artistic and wonderful daughter.


Dear Son

Dear Charles,

My wish for you is to be a strong and centered man someday. I want you to have a love for the Lord. I want you to do things better than I did. I want for you to have an excellent education and to pursue the things you love. I want you to know that it's OK for a man to cry. I want you to do those things in this world, but to never forget the Things that matter most. It's so easy to get wrapped up in the ephemeral, sweet boy. Don't let it take your spirit away. Cars and houses may be nice, but in the end there are things that matter much more than these. I pray you know the difference. Most of all, I pray I can do a good job at showing you that difference.

I want for you to be friends with your sister. You may be opposites, but I hope that you two cling to the things that are the same. I want your relationship to be meaningful. I want it to be a deep friendship.

I want love to touch your life. I know that pain will touch it - it touches everyone's, but I hope you bounce back. "Joy comes with the morning", Charlie. Sometimes we have terrible things happen to us. Sometimes people we love die. Sometimes it seems like the world is falling down around our ears, but inevitably joy rebounds - inevitably something good comes along and the bad things are just a terrible and vague memory. When the bad things happen, don't forget this. It's OK to question and to run - we're only human - and I think that in the end it makes us stronger. It makes our Faith stronger.

Most of all, I hope and pray that I can be a good mother to you. I love you already. I don't want to fail you. I'm not sure yet what it takes to raise a son right. Thankfully I'm not alone in this. Your dad is an amazing man and he is so excited to have a son - just as he was excited to have a daughter. Our love for you two is equal but different. I'm sure we'll spend the rest of our lives figuring out how to parent you two. I'm sure that when I'm sixty I'll snap my fingers and say, "I've figured it out!" I'll make mistakes along the way and I'll make triumphs. Either way, everything will be done in love.