To my baby,
You are growing up so quickly. I can’t believe it has been over a year now since you were growing inside of me. Back then, I would tell you my hopes and dreams for you. Nowadays, I’m telling you-
“Don’t touch that!”
“We don’t go into cupboards!”
“Drop it again, and you don’t get it back!”
I miss our little conversations. Granted, they were one-sided. But, I knew you were listening. There will come a day when you will stop taking guidance from me. As much as I want to, I won’t be able to protect from disappointment, hurt, and rejection. But, I will try.
Every parent hopes their children will achieve greater things – better education, better job, more material wealth. While those things are great, they mean nothing if you have a weak character.
Besides health and long life, I hope that you will reach the following dreams.
Longfellow once wrote, “Into each life some rain must fall.” Your grandparents came to this country armed with a degree and a dream for a better life. Overcoming prejudice and English as a second language, they were able to raise a family, own a home, have successful careers, and become proud members of the community. I hope that you inherit their determination through adversity. When life knocks you down, try to land on your back. Because if you can look up, you can get up.
Of course I want you to become a doctor, lawyer, or Olympian. But, success cannot be measured simply by dollars or accolades. You may not even be able to take a direct route to find that success. Test your talents and do what makes you happiest. I’m sure your grandfather will understand if you don’t become a concert pianist.
Don’t be afraid to stand on your left foot when everyone leans on their right. Take pride in who you are without being arrogant. Present yourself with confidence but know your place in the world. My best friend’s father always said, “It’s one thing to be popular. It’s another to be NOTORIOUS!”
If you want something badly enough, find a way to get it. Don’t anticipate defeat. But, embrace failure. Long ago, I accepted the fact that I would never be a break dancer. You too will try to reach for things that will not come to fruition. Learn to how strive diligently and how to stand down with grace. Then, go for it again.
Ask questions. Lots of them. If no one can answer them, you can always Google it.
Don’t take yourself lightly and never take yourself seriously. Hugh Sidey said, “A sense of humor is needed armor. Joy in one’s heart and some laughter on one’s lips is a sign that the person down deep has a pretty good grasp of life.” I hope that you will always be laughing.
There you have it. Those are just some of my aspirations for you. Of course, you will have your own dreams to reach for. Whatever happens, know this. You will always be loved.