Love Letter to my Sons

Wow. I can’t believe it’s been so long since I posted last. Things have been busy, crazy, fun, hectic and I have been busy, crazy, fun, hectic. We’ve had major milestones happen in our lives, we moved across country, Ty started Grade 1, Hayden was born, we bought a house. Like I said, busy, crazy, fun, hectic. I have dearly missed my writing, but haven’t found the time or the inspiration to write anything meaningful. This past year has been an amazing journey of self discovery, realisation, reflection, love, pain, joy and peace. I am sure that going forward I will relate all our adventures and the lessons we learned from them, but I wanted to open the floor with a letter to my beautiful boys. All the past year’s life lessons have been so important for me, for us, and these are the things I want my boys to know as they enter adulthood so that hopefully they will be able to cope with it better than I did. So here goes, forgive me if it’s a little rough around the edges, I am quite rusty!

My dear, sweet Ty and Haydi,

You both have brought such immense joy and love into my life. I cannot even begin to explain. I know you think I am annoying and that I nag, question, hug and smooch you too much. But I see you both as my little spiritual advisors and I just want to glean as much knowledge and love from you as I possibly can. Without the two of you, I would never have learnt to look within for the answers I craved so deeply. Whenever you have stood up to me or questioned my actions it has made me stop and examine my motivations and intentions. I have learnt so much from the both of you, and these are the things I want you to know and remember when you are making your way through this beautiful, wonderful, mostly confusing thing called life:

1. Love yourself first.

I spent a good part of my young adult life bending over backwards to accomodate people; “friends”, family, co-workers. I thought that if I made everyone else happy and feel loved, important and valued that they would automatically do the same for me. Boy was I wrong. While it’s obviously good to make your most beloved feel this way, don’t spread yourself too thin because all that you will feel is disappointment and hurt when your love and generosity becomes the expected norm and people turn on you when you can no longer give it. This happens when you have exhausted all your reserves of love on undeserving people that you have none left for yourself. So as hard as you try, you just can’t anymore. People won’t understand this, because you have always been about them. Be about you. Not in a narcissistic way. In a self love way. You cannot, truly, love others properly until you love yourself. And this requires making time for yourself and not saying yes to everyone all the time.

2. It is all you.

When you feel like the world is against you, it’s so easy to blame other people/outside conditions for your problems. We never want to admit that it is due to a fault of our own or our way of thinking that things have gone wrong in our lives. This was a tough pill for me to swallow, but now that I have, my life is so much happier and filled with love and light because I know that it is up to ME to make it that way. It sounds cliché, but it is so true, it’s not what happens to you that’s important. It’s how you deal with it emotionally that makes it what it is. You can take everything to heart, and cry about the unfairness of it all at night, OR you can accept it for what it is and find a way to make it work for you. The same goes for when things go right in your life. Don’t give luck the credit. It is all you! Where you are in your life at any given moment is due to your past actions. Life is not random. Everything you do (or don’t do) today affects your tomorrow. Remember that. And take responsibility for your life. The good, the bad and the ugly.

3. Practise patience. 

Following on from the above, learn to accept the things you cannot change, about people, about work, about that annoying rattle in the car that you can’t seem to find. See them for what they are and move on. You will find more happiness in the freedom that comes with this realisation and acceptance than any quick fix you try to employ to make your external conditions more bearable. Every time.

4. Make TRUE friends.

TRUE friends are people that speak to your soul. They hold a mirror up to you so that you can see yourself for who you truly are. Even during your worst times. They are people who love you for the right reasons, and will be there for you without expecting anything in return. People who don’t constantly demand your attention, but are so thankful when they get it. TRUE friends are those that feel like you’ve known them forever, just after you’ve met them. When someone says “After everything I’ve done for you”, their motivations were not pure and true. The kind of person who constantly wants affirmation for their good deeds, is not the kind of person you want in your corner, believe me. Because when push comes to shove, there will always be a bigger and better cause for them to support for the glory of it. You are no one’s charity case. Except mine <— On that note, you are always welcome home if you have run out of money and are living on two minute noodles. I will never judge you or ridicule you for coming home for a good cooked meal or to do your washing. It will be an honour to know that I am still needed in your life, even if it’s only for silly things.

5. Your mind is your most powerful weapon.

Against hurt. Against anger. Against pride. For love. For happiness. For peace. Use it for good, your own good, not others’ evil.

6. A rich life is not one filled with material wealth.

A rich life doesn’t mean status, money and power. A rich life is one filled with experience, culture, diversity, joy, love, laughter and the hard truths that hardship brings. Life is about love. Love for yourself. Compassion and empathy for others (a healthy amount – see point 1). The sound of your laughter in my home has made me rich in ways that no high paying job ever will, and I have never forgotten that.

7. Never lose your enthusiasm or childish inquisitiveness.

Approach every new experience with an unbiased mind. This is a tough one, because we are predisposed to adopt our parents’ and friends’ attitudes towards things because they are the biggest influences in our lives. Always remember that my opinions are MY OPINIONS. They are not yours. They are based on MY EXPERIENCES. Not yours. If you ask for my advice, I will give it to you. But do not let it be the basis on which you make all your decisions. Dad and I can be examples for you in certain aspects. But don’t try to emulate our lives or be like us. We want you boys to have your own lives, and your own experiences. Sometimes the unknown is scary, and most people don’t understand it and react negatively to it. Forget those people. They are small people with small minds and will just hold you back. Open eyes, open heart. Let that be your mantra.

8. Never forget that we love you (and that you love each other).

No matter what you decide to do with your life. No matter how many “mistakes” (mistakes are subjective after all) you make along the way. No matter who you love. No matter where you live. No matter how you choose to practise spirituality. If you choose spirituality at all. Our biggest hope and dream, is for you both to be happy and fulfilled, peaceful and loved. How you choose to attain these states is up to you. We will support you along the way. We may not always like it, but that is our problem remember? Don’t ever feel like you can’t come to us for help. In any aspect. If we aren’t around anymore or if we just can’t help you, don’t ever forget that you have each other. Support each other, love each other and never lose contact with each other, no matter where in the world you end up. Even if it’s only sporadic contact. Let there always be contact, and let it be loving, understanding and joyful.

I hope you managed to read all the way to here without rolling your eyes and dismissing me. If you have, I just want to finish by saying that I can’t wait to carry on with this amazing journey with you and watch you both grow into the beautiful human beings I know you will be. I am already so proud of you boys, you are my light and my love and I did not live until you came into my life.

Love you munchkins, thank you for everything.

Mom

Advertisements

Oh boy…

Ah the excitement and thrill of young love. I’m sure you remember the first time you fell in love. The butterflies. The nerves. The terror. The horror to discover that you had obscenely large sweat patches the whole time you were chatting up the object of your affection. And of course, the shame you experienced the morning after you got so hammered that you got up on stage at open mic night and professed your undying love for that person. No, I don’t miss that at all! At least back then though, if you did something mortifying it was only known to the lucky few who happened to be in the vicinity, or if you were super lucky, just the two of you. But these days, within a matter of seconds that video/pic is uploaded to each and every social network and BOOM! All of a sudden your desperation and heartache has 1 987 469 980 284 views on YouTube and Ellen DeGeneres is calling you to do an exclusive.

drunk baby meme

Today’s new measure of social success

Relationships have changed so much with the advent of new technologies. You no longer have to spend your afternoons and weekends hanging around at home waiting for someone to call you on the home phone. Or driving by people’s houses to make sure they are all still alive and haven’t been wiped out by an explosion of some sort. I mean, why ELSE haven’t they called yet!?!?!?

Overly Attached Friends

Yes, I didn’t reply immediately because you’re the worst person in the world and I hate you. This is allllll about you.

Even friendships have changed. People get so pissy when they see that you’ve read a message but don’t immediately respond. Bitch, I’m BUSY! All of a sardine, if you’re not immediately available to everyone at all times it’s the biggest social snub. Um, no. I have my own family, my own commitments and my own things to do. I really don’t want to have to hear about it every time you have a bad hair day. And usually, the updates are so inane that I don’t actually think they warrant a response. But hey, that’s just me. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my S3, and the freedom of expression and information that the internet gives me. I could not live without it. I just want to be treated like a human, instead of a robot designed to immediately respond to your every message.

So what does this mean for the future generation and how they relate to each other? After an incredibly fun evening at Spur last night with a little friend from school who just happens to be a gorgeous little girl child, Tyler Bear brought up something I was excited and shocked to hear. His exact words were “Guys, I get nervous when I see a girl”.

O.

M.

G!!!!!!!!!

kids face paint

It appears my son has incredibly high standards when it comes to girls!

WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN?!?!!? Three minutes ago he couldn’t stand the sight of girls and very pointedly told me once that “Listen Mom, girls play with girls and boys play with boys”. It was too sweet. And of course Jeffsta and I had to seriously hold in the “Awww cute Tyler you’re in looooooooove” teases and just tell him calmly that it is perfectly normal. I then asked him if he was extra nervous when the girl was very pretty, and the gorgeous thing shyly answered “yes”. How bloody amazing is that!??! My little boy has discovered that girls are more than just annoying creatures that nag you to stop making a mess and boss you around all the time. This got me thinking about my first crush and how times have changed since then. When the monkey is big enough, he’ll have a cell phone. We already have three computers (four if you count the RaspberryPi) in the house, nevermind our mobile devices and tablets. So chances are, he will have no problem chatting online or messaging the object of his affection in years time. Without the worry of sounding like a complete d-bag over the phone when he runs out of things to say or his voice cracks a little, it is going to be so much easier for him than it was for his daddy. BUT it will also be way more mortifying for him if something goes incredibly wrong. How do we, in today’s world, teach our children to keep private conversations just that… private. And how do we help them recover if their horrible, self-recorded video of them singing a terribly off-key love song goes viral and becomes the butt of the school’s jokes?

kids-with-cell-phones

Little Daisy couldn’t wait to tell everyone how David had tried to kiss her under the swing set

I guess the answer to that is still the same as what it would have been when I was that age. It is not just how your child sees themselves that you are responsible for. How they treat others is a reflection on you as well. Teach them respect. Respect for themselves and for others. Teach them love. For themselves and others. It is the most amazing and beautiful thing to see your child treat others with kindness, patience and respect. Think about how you would want to have been treated when you were putting your heart on the line. It is of course, the time that you are the most vulnerable. If you can get your children to understand and recognise this in other human beings, then I think (in my humble opinion) that you have done the planet a world of good. We need to remember that we are all just human beings. And the sooner we do, the better off we’ll be for it.