Monday, August 15, 2011

letters

In 8th grade Maddie's teachers asked her to write a letter to themselves that she would mail to them after their high school graduation.  She also asked the parents to write a letter.  Weeks after graduation Maddie's sweet teacher tracked us down in Tn to mail her letters to her.  I was already emotional so the letters, of course, made me cry.  Maddie's came with pink and blue cute graffitti doodles all over it and was written in four colors of ink.  Here is an excerpt from Maddie's letter to herself:

"When I become an adult I think that I want to go to a university in Chicago...maybe...but I really want to be something good. I want to work at Subway at least once in my life but my career will be different.  I want to be a director and teach at a high school or college.  Or maybe i want to be a talk show host, a commentary person, a radio show host or something else along those lines."

I love that she wanted to work at subway still in 8th grade.  Her life's dream.  She looks so young to me here, but this was 8th grade:


They told parents of the 8th graders to write a letter to their child as they entered adulthood.  Here is what I wrote:

Dear Maddie,
Here you are, about to graduate from college.  People will look at you and say are an adult and yet, when I see you--in my eyes--I often see the freckle faced little girl trying to organize the world.

When you were five and people would ask you what you wanted to be when you grow up  you would often explain to them, "the boss."  I fully believe that prediction will come true and you will do amazing important things.

You are one of my greatest joys in life.  There are times when your courage, kindness and ability to enjoy life just take my breath away.  I so thank God for being your mother--every little aspect of it.

You have many gifts and talents that will take you amazing places.  To begin with, you are a dreamer and a planner.  Dad always laughs that you get this trait from me and I'm happy to claim it because dreamers and planners make exciting things happen.  They get people motivated and caught up in their dreams.  You have the talent of thinking through things ahead of time and trying to get them just right--I'm pretty sure that talent came from your father.  You are compassionate and have the ability to put yourself in someone else's shoes.  You have an amazing imagination that has always allowed you to turn the most routine of chores into an adventure.  You also have the gift of making others around you feel special.

I can't wait to see you start your career and your family to see what great things you accomplish.  Do I ahave any advice?  Hmmm...some...

Education:  You are about to graduate but know this...never let the learning stop.  Read good books.  You grew up in a house where books are treasures and I know books will be your companions as time goes by.  Travel any time you can scrape the money together.  Ask people hard questions and stop to really consider what they are saying.  Take classes just becuase and always try to grow in your education.

About God and religion:  Gol loves you no matter what you DO..you do not have to earn his love.  He wants your heart and a relationship with you and  for you to know there is nothing you can do that will make him love you more or less.  Don't get caught up in trying to "look" like a Christian..seek out a friendship with Christ that allows you to serve Him and be a Christian.

Career:  Know this--that if you find something to do that you are good at, passionate about, and that makes the world a better place than you are truly blessed--particularly if you get a salary that compensates you for it.  Work hard...really hard...push yourself and dream big dreams.  Do not be  afraid to take risks.

Frienships:  There is something magical about frienship and many women forget to cultivate and grow their friendships.  Surround yourself with people you love, that make you laugh.  Never choose friends that make you feel that you aren't enough.  Choose friends who look forward to seeing you every time you walk through  a door.  Seek out people who are lonely and needing someone and be a friend to them...knowing that this is not always easy at all.

Love and relationships:  You have had the benefit of growing up in a house with two parents who love each other, fight, forgive and continue to love each other.  You have watched two parents who had to work every single day to make their marriage a good one.   I think this was a good lesson for you to see--that love and marriage and any relationship worth fighting for will often have to be fought for.  Many times your dad and I didn't feel like we were in love but we chose to love each other.  Just like friendships, only date someone who makes you feel like you are more than enough.  Only date someone who will never ask you to sacrifice your beliefs and the things you love.

Sweet daughter of mine...I want to thank you for all the joy you have brought me.  There are no words to explain how proud your father and I are of you and how dearly we love you.  Know that wherever you are in this world I'm carrying pieces of your heart and you are carrying mine.  Know that any time you can walk into the house, put a load of laundry in and open the fridge to find out if there is anything to eat..this is your home.

I love you daughter.
More than you'll ever know.

Mom