I wasn’t sure I would ever have the courage to have a second child.
Having Delaney was beautiful and terrifying and almost life-ending. For me, not her. I had emergency surgery to save my life about 6 hours after having her. I woke to Jeff on the phone with my best friend, “She’s ok. But if she never wants to do this again, that’s ok.”
I did it again. The mind is a funny thing – we bleach the hard for the extraordinary.
You didn’t make me wait long. I pushed one time…the doctor made me laugh and you were born to that sound. You entered the world surrounded by love and laughter – so fitting for the boy you have been and now the teenager you become today.
My sweet buddy – you are a treasure. And I will always be grateful to be your mom.
You are the Mayor….you say hello to each person you pass….in the hallways of school, on the street, at every game you play. You smile always. You want everyone to feel welcome.
It breaks your beautiful heart when anyone feels left out. You come home distraught if you fear you *could* have helped but didn’t.
On this – your 13th birthday – your official entry to being a teenager…I want you to know, most of all….YOU ARE LOVED.
You are loved when you wake and when you fall asleep.
You are loved through every hard decision.
You are loved through every smile, every song, every dance move.
You are loved through every sports stat, every funny meme, every, ‘can I just watch for a few minutes before bed’.
You are loved through your failures.
You are loved through your strike-outs.
You are loved through every hitting moment that wasn’t an RBI.
You are loved through your pop-outs.
You are loved through every pitching moment that didn’t feel like a stepping stone to a no-hitter.
You are love through every pitch, every win, every save.
You are loved through your ‘I should-haves’
You are loved through your ‘ I meant to’s”
You are loved through ALL. OF. IT.
A Letter to My Son on His 13th Birthday: Advice to Carry With You.
Trust You – Your intuition, your gut – that feeling you get in your belly – trust it. It will tell you when something isn’t right, when you are about to make the wrong decision and when you need to take the leap to reach the goals you are setting for yourself. Over and over, I’ve watched you let your gut be your guide. Continue to do that as you grow.
Know When to Lead and When to Follow – There are times when you will need to stand up and encourage others and times when you sit back, listen and let someone else take the lead. You are learning the difference and it is a wonderful thing to watch.
Protect Those You Love – One of the things that makes my gratitude list every day is the relationship you have with your sister. Despite your occasional sibling moments, you truly take care of each other, stand up for each other and commit to protecting each other. Apply this gift of protection to all the people you love – friends and family alike.
Your Dreams Determine Your Destiny – I remember a moment when you were just in kindergarten….a parish priest asked the class what they wanted to be when they grew up. You said a Major League Baseball Player (I know that dream hasn’t changed). You came home crushed that day as the priest’s response to your dream was to reply that only .05% of people make it to the Big Leagues. That Christmas, we gifted you a custom shirt that said, “I am the .05%.”. I still believe that….not simply because I believe every dream comes true, but I DO believe two things: I believe it is impossible for a dream to come true if you aren’t willing to DREAM it and put in the work and….I believe in you.
Put Your Phone Down – What? Yes. Sometimes you just need to put the phone down and BE in the moment. Experience people. Look someone in the eye and have a conversation. I know texting is easy – trust me….but a call or a moment in person when you need to tell a friend you are here for them, to say congratulations, thank you or I’m sorry cannot be replaced by words typed on a phone.
Be Kind, Be Respectful – It has always been important to me that you lead with kindness each and every day. You do a beautiful job of doing just this. I hope you will always see kindness as the correct path and understand that respect for others – for people who are just like you and people who aren’t, for women, for EVERYONE of another race, culture, ability or orientation – is not only a choice, but one you can model for others by continuing to live it. Lead by example.