3 year-old Pictures and LetterPosted: June 19, 2014
Caden’s 3-year-old pictures absolutely blew me away. I look at him every day and know that he’s 3, but I look at these pictures and see my baby who is barely a toddler anymore and turning into a little boy. I know that I will blink and he will be 12, going off to middle school and 16 and wanting a car and 18 and off to college. I know this is my future and I love the future, I also really love my present.
I wrote this letter to Caden on his 1st birthday and thought that so many of the things I wrote wouldn’t resonate until he was much older and boy was I wrong. I read this list frequently to remind me of the person we are raising and lessons I need to teach him now so that they are part of who he is.
My Dearest Caden,
I have spent the first year of your life documenting all the essential lessons and tidbits that I need you to know. I want to be sure that you have this list of things that your Mom thinks is important.
- Always be curious and ask a lot of questions
- A woman likes a man who will do his own laundry
- It’s okay to express your feelings, this isn’t a sign of weakness
- If given the opportunity, always dance
- Judge a person by their intentions and integrity
- Remember your manners and use your napkin
- It’s okay to lose, just not regularly. I hate losing more than I want to win. There’s a difference.
- Say “I Love You” to those you love and do so regularly.
- Ask people their name when you meet them
- It’s always nice to ask a person what they want for their birthday, but also get them a little something as a thoughtful surprise.
- Follow your instinct
- Don’t follow a crowd that’s doing wrong
- Be the kid who’s nice to everyone. The uncool kid may be your boss someday.
- Competition is a good thing
- The best Valentine’s gift you can give your loved one is to skip the dinner out and instead stay home and cook for her. Make sure you do the grocery shopping and have flowers on the table.
- Play sports or be a part of a team, you learn invaluable lessons
- Look people in the eye when speaking to them
- Don’t intentionally hurt people’s feelings, but always be honest
- Laugh at yourself whenever possible
- Be empathetic. Your Dad is the best example of this quality. Follow his lead, always.
- Being determined does not mean you are stubborn
- Don’t feel bad for your good fortune, but be aware of others less fortunate
- Be good to the environment
- Eat organically whenever you can
- Set boundaries that people cannot cross
- It’s okay to say no
- Go to college and work doing something you enjoy, but don’t work your life away
- Go to the doctor for a checkup every year, even if you feel just fine
- Moisturize your skin
- Don’t bargain with God, he wins
- Make sure you get a few scars as a kid that will be reminders of your childhood when you are an adult
- Technology and social media is not a replacement for people
- Don’t be the loudest in the room or the quietest.
- It’s okay to have a drink or two every once in a while, but not much more than that.
- Go to your prom and participate in your graduation ceremony
- Family are those people you are related to and wish you were related to
- Don’t smoke
- I care more about whether you asked any great questions while at school then what you actually learned
- Do what you love, do it in the most adventurous place, make sure it helps people
- Napoleon said, “A woman laughing is a woman conquered”. He was right. Daddy has had my laughing since I was 15.
- There is a vast difference between I need you and I need something from you
- When you see crazy coming, cross the street.
- Creativity is genius
- Be silly
- Marry someone who is passionate and who you believe would be a great mother (Italian preferably, lol!)
- Don’t like everyone as soon as you meet them. I live by the saying, “before I like you, I don’t like you” and that’s okay.
- When you hang around garbage you start to stink so be sure you align yourself with good people
- Some families have traditions; our Italian family has lots of them. Follow traditions.
- If you’re good at something make sure you get paid for it.
- Be smart, thoughtful and considerate, always.
I love you so much my dear baby and hope that my lessons will mean something to you at different points of your life.