To my children: 11 valuable lessons that will truly change your life

Family will be your backbone. Kindness will be the answer.

To my children: 11 valuable lessons that will truly change your life

Dear kids,

The recent passing of a beautiful 27-year-old woman, Holly Butcher, and her Facebook note filled with advice, life lessons and musings that she left for her friends and family—which has been shared over 150,000 times—has inspired me to sit down and write this note to you.

Because there are things you should know. About life and love and how the world works. And I want to be the one to tell you about them.

Life is too short and we never know what the future holds, so I need to get this on paper (well, actually, on the internet) ASAP.


1. Life will be crazy

And you’re going to feel so confused about your direction at times. But we all have a path—we just have to trust the process and work hard. Have faith, and put the hours in. Don’t be afraid to fail. That’s where the magic is—in failure and rebuilding and inspiration and coming back stronger than before. That’s how dreams come true and goals are slayed.

2. Family will be your backbone

There’s nothing more important than family. Myself and your father, and the three of you. Your cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents. We will be here for each other no. matter. what. We will love each other even when we’re angry. We will root each other on even for the smallest of challenges. We will do anything for each other.

Be loyal to one another. Stick up for each other. Practice forgiveness. Hold each other tight and never let anything come between you.

3. Friends will be your soulmates, your angels

They’ll be there for the breakups and crushes and heartache. They’ll be there to make your belly laugh when you need it most or to dance the night away with. They’ll become part of you, like your family.

Some will be with you for life, and others you’ll collect along your journey—they’ll be symbolic of different stages of your life. They’ll all be in your life for a reason. Be a good friend. Make time for them. You’ll need each other.

4. Work will be necessary and inspiring

You’ll probably have a few different jobs in your life. Sometimes your career path may seem like it’s zigging instead of zagging. Like you don’t know what your true calling is. Don’t be afraid to try to foster different passions throughout your life and see where they take you.

My wish for you is that you find a career that fuels you, that pushes you to grow, that best utilizes your gifts. My hope is that your father and I can be in-tune to what your gifts are at a young age. That we can help foster your talents and be a guide and a resource for helping you find your path.

5. Money will feel like both a gift and a burden

Some days it feels like every. single. thing costs money. And, so much money, to be precise. If you work hard and save—you’re doing something right. But, even if you’re “doing it right,” money will be stressful at times. Having children and a mortgage and trying to keep up with all the bills that come along with adulting and raising a family can take its toll.

But remember—money isn’t everything. There is so much more to life than bills and stressing over whether you should spend the money on a new shirt for yourself or not. Trust that it will all work itself out and when you’re able to—don’t be afraid to spend some money on yourself, your relationship, or your children if you have them.

6. Your body will—at times—feel like your friend and your enemy

My body has given me three beautiful gifts—you girls. What my body has been through—three pregnancies and deliveries—absolutely amazes me. I am in awe of what it has done and given me, yet I am still hard on it at times. There are some days I still wish it was back to its pre-pregnancy size. Where I still wish I could fit into my favorite jeans from five years ago. Where I still cringe at my loose skin on my belly or the stretch marks on my thighs.

But our bodies—our healthy, strong bodies—are also gifts, and we need to treat them as such. When I’m hard on my body, I look to you girls to remind me of how amazing it actually is—then I throw those negative thoughts where they belong—in the garbage.

7. Curiosity will bring you success

Be curious. Ask questions. There really are no bad questions because asking a question means that you respect the process of learning so much that you want to be sure you’re interpreting the information correctly. That’s important.

I hope you always love learning and that you continue to push yourself to grow. In my life, I’ve found that the smartest people ask the most questions. They’re not afraid to say, “Hold on a second, I don’t understand. Let’s go over that again.” Don’t ever be ashamed of speaking up and asking for help.

8. Technology will be a tricky—yet helpful—road

We have the world at our fingertips. Who knows what technology will offer us as you grow and mature. We'll probably be getting deliveries from Baymax from Big Hero 6 and riding around in flying cars by the time you’re in your twenties.

Social media will be an interesting thing to grow up with. I didn’t grow up with it; I only got Facebook freshman year of college. Your life will be documented—be careful what you decide to share with the world.

Social media is an amazing tool for connecting people and sharing ideas. But it can be dangerous—cyber bullying and unrealistic expectations come to mind. Don’t let it get to you. Take a break when you need to. There’s a lot of beautiful things happening all around you—in person.

9. Love will be abundant

I hope your life is filled with love all the way through. And I’m sure it will be. Your dad and I will always love you—no matter what.

And when you fall in love—with whatever amazing person you’ll choose—I hope you open your heart to them and fully let them in. When I fell in love with your dad, that’s what happened to me. It was scary and wonderful and nerve wracking and the BEST feeling in the world. I can’t wait to hear about your moment.

10. Kindness will be the answer

When in doubt, be kind. As the incredibly inspirational former First Lady Michelle Obama says, “When they go low, we go high.” Always treat people with kindness—no matter if they deserve it or not.

Your heart is full of kindness, and I hope it stays that way—because that’s what our world needs now more than anything else.

11. It’s all waiting for you

Buy the expensive mascara. Take the trip. Look people in the eye. Don’t feel awkward when you dance. If you do, dance anyway. Read books—like, real books made of paper. Listen to the lyrics. Dream...and then do. Donate blood. Forgive people. See live music. Be helpful. Work hard. Don’t be afraid to stand out. Live your life with enthusiasm. Put some thought into it. We only get one chance. Make the most of it, kiddo.



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