Things I Want to Tell You

IMAG0691This was a letter that I planned to use as a blog post before Baby George arrived in the world. He decided to arrive 10 days before his due date, which might have been the reason it missed its original release date.

However, all the advice I had for him still applies. I think it’s funny that Relationships and Social Media seem equally important as categories in this letter. I hope someday George will read this and laugh and maybe even get something out of it. But until then, you get to enjoy it.

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Dear Little One,

With just weeks remaining before you’ll be born into the light, I have a few things to say—and I doubt you’ll understand any of them. Humor me. Mommy won’t be able to wait the years required for your language processor to be ready for this download.

Sometimes I just have to dump a lot of words out of my mouth. Your daddy is used to this, and he still loves me, so I know you’ll survive.

A few tips about life out here:

Communication -This might be the most important skill I’ll ever teach you. Find ways to explain how you’re feeling as fast as you possibly can. I’ll do my best to help you along, give you an emotions vocabulary, and listen carefully to you.

Understand Mommy’s Communication Style – I need lots of kind words and encouragement. Your mom gets depressed when she’s overwhelmed, so find a way to tell her what you appreciate. I’ll take any form of affection you want to give me.

About Relationships -You’re going to land smack in the middle of a complex web of giving and taking in this world. My best advice is to a) bring your communication skills out as often as you can, b) don’t assume anything, c) don’t take anything personally. Also, look for the very special friendships where you love the person so much, you can pour yourself into him/her and never feel like it’s too much. That’s called a “kindred spirit.” These friends are very rare and hard to find.

Don’t Fear Love – You’ll experience love in many forms. Your mommy and daddy are both hopeless romantics, so you’ll pick up some of this at home. My wisdom here: love people deeply, honestly, and carefully. Your feelings might seem at moments like an unstoppable wave that strangely evaporates a month or even a day later. Don’t throw away your life or happiness on a whim. Love is more dangerous and beautiful than fire, but you can’t live a full life without it.

Watch Out for Popular Media – Fake things can be made to look very real. Movies tell you that a glamorous life is normal, that successful people look perfect, and things will always work out in the end if you just believe in yourself. It’s bogus. Don’t look to Hollywood or Facebook or magazines or whatever is popular for people your age to get ideas on normal expectations. Don’t let people scare you away from going near any of it, either. Learn to sort beautiful truth from beautiful lies. Complicated? Yes. Your mom is still not an expert at this.

Keep Your Sense of Humor  Laugh a lot. Laugh at yourself as much as you can without being cruel. Go ahead and make mistakes, but don’t be afraid to start something, even if you’re not sure you can finish it. Failure is a lot less awful if you immediately get up and try again.

Seek God-There’s much you’ll have to learn and discover for yourself about Him, but I’ll tell you what my parents told me—He loves you even more than I will ever be able to. If you can understand this and grow from there, I will be glad.

I can’t wait to meet you.

Anxiously yours,

Mommy

About Elise

Elise Stephens began her career in writing at age six, illustrating her own story books and concocting wild adventures. Stephens counts authors Neil Gaiman, C.S. Lewis, and Margaret Atwood among her literary mentors, and has studied under Orson Scott Card. She dreams often of finding new ways to weave timeless truths into her stories. Her novels include Moonlight and Oranges (2011), Forecast (2013), and Guardian of the Gold Breathers (2015), a finalist for the INDIEFAB Book of the Year. She lives in Seattle with her family. Follow her on Twitter @elisestephens and Author Elise Stephens on Facebook.

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