Advice to My Daughters on their 10th Birthday
Today you are 10. Looking at you, I can hardly believe that 10 years ago, you were born, each weighing just a little over 3 lbs. I talked and sang to you constantly while I laid in the hospital for over two months fighting to bring you both into the world. I monitored you every day, and it felt like we could sense each others' feelings even before you were born. You girls were strong and resilient from the moment you entered this world, and I knew when I saw you, that you both would be nothing short of amazing. The three of us have been holding hands since, and today you are not only my daughters, but in many ways my best friends.
Now that you are entering double-digits, I will attempt to offer you some words of wisdom. While you may laugh now and say "thanks mommy!" and run off with your friends, I hope that you will store this away somewhere in the back of your mind. There it can stay, until the moment you feel down, or lost, or when you are struggling to overcome the obstacles we all, including myself, unfortunately have to face. This is advice that will lift you up and guide you; advice that I hope you will remember and pass on when you one day have children of your own.
1. Never forget how awesome and amazing you both are! You are perfect in every way and sometimes it can be hard to remember that when you are a teenager. Love yourselves just the way you are.
2. Family comes first. Always have your sister's back. And your brother's back too. No matter what. At the end of the day, it is your siblings that will go through life with you shoulder-to-shoulder. They will be there for you in a way no other person can.
3. There are no free rides in life. Anything worth having requires commitment, sacrifice and perseverance. You are not entitled to anything you don't work hard for. Show the world how truly amazing you are by creating something beautiful and owning it.
4. Set goals. If you want to be successful, set your sights on a goal and work towards it. Goal-oriented people get the best grades, best jobs, and are never bored. Always keep raising the bar for yourself -- you are your best critic.
5. Follow your heart and work at what you are passionate about. Never work just for fame, money or power. They won't make you happy. Instead, focus on what makes you feel whole and content.
6. Service to others is non-negotiable. Always give your time and money to those who are less fortunate. Keep in mind that the world is big place, filled with every kind of person, with many less fortunate than you are.
7. Live in the moment. Don't spend all your time playing video games - get out there and see what opportunities are waiting for you!
8. Write down five things to be thankful for when you have a bad day.
9. Write down three things you love about how you look when you are feeling self-conscious or having a bad hair day. Remember, to love others you must first love yourself.
10. Always remember your mother loves you and you are never alone. Always.