Tuesday, 2 December 2014

My advice on boys: A Letter to Mya

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Dear Mya,
     I remember when your dad and I first found out that we were having a girl. That little ultrasound image told us that you were ours, and our first baby would be a GIRL! We were so excited. So excited, but also all of a sudden nervous...because we were having a GIRL. A girl who would steal our hearts before she was even born, then completely sweep us away the moment that she was placed in our arms. I might be a bit biased, but you were (and are) quite possibly the most loved little girl in the entire world. And our nerves about having a little girl came purely from the fact that we knew that we loved you so much, and one day a boy might come into your life...and he might just break your heart.    
      So as I sit here in the quiet of the night, thinking of what I can tell you as your mom...what advice I could possibly give you about one of the most important decisions of your life, I'm not even sure where to start. But let me begin by telling you that the person who you choose to spend the rest of your life with IS one of the most important decisions you will ever make. So choose wisely.
        I'm not sure why people don't talk about it much. Why it's not discussed from the time that you are little. But choosing someone to spend the rest of your life with impacts literally every aspect of your life. So I hope that when you are finally old enough to read this letter, when you are in the midst of searching for or deciding on your life partner, you will sit down and read this again--and again...because I can't stress to you enough how important this decision is...choosing the right man.

Now, I also realize as I write this that I'm making a huge assumption that you'll one day fall in love with and marry a man--but just know that if I'm wrong and you fall in love with a woman, your dad and I will also be there cheering you on and toasting to the beautiful couple on your wedding day...just so you know.

But for now, I'll make the assumption that we're talking about boys, so if I had a say in this at all, here is what I would tell you:

Please find someone who is just like your dad.

On our honeymoon...almost 7yrs ago

*Handing out school supplies to kids in a very poor area of the Dominican 

Find someone who will put you first and support your every move. Find someone who will be trustworthy and kind...because one day you will need that kind of a man to help you raise your future children. You need a man who will rub your belly when you're pregnant and remind you that "you have a baby growing in there...you look beautiful" when you feel as huge as a whale as he's watching you throw each and every piece of clothing out of your closet in the morning, trying to find something that fits (true story). 

Pic taken almost a month ago now...finally resigning myself to the stretchy pants

A man who will sit on the nursery floor trying to keep his eyes open, watching you as you nurse and rock your crying baby in your arms late at night...knowing that he can't necessarily do anything in that moment but be there for you. Please find someone who you know will do this for you--because believe me...you will need it. 

I know at the tender age of four, you're watching our every move. You're watching how we laugh together, how we love each other and how we kiss each other goodnight. You're watching as we speak to each other, as we help each other and as we manoeuvre through the days when life is hard, and when life is so so good. You're watching the mundane routines that come with every day life--the dishes that we scrub together at the sink, the laundry that we transfer from the washer to the dryer, the vacuuming that seems to be never ending and the lunches that get packed every night. You're watching as we smile at each other when life is blissful and when we talk to each other when we're frustrated. You're watching every last bit of it.

So please, keep watching. Watch as we make mistakes--and learn from them, as we are. Watch as we get frustrated with each other sometimes, and instead of yelling, we talk about it, work it out or just let it go. No relationship is ever perfect Mya. But never go to bed angry...even if you have to stay up all night long figuring it out...never go to sleep mad.

And I'll give you a piece of advice that your Papa (my dad) once told me long before I met your daddy. He told me to never seek out drama in a relationship. Never settle down with a man who brings drama to your life--who makes you cry often, or who makes you experience incredible highs and incredible lows. Bouquets of flowers for no reason are much sweeter than flowers sent to you as an apology. There will be so much drama that will come into your life, your papa told me, with your job, your future kids, family, friends and finances that your home life with your husband should be steady. It should be calm, it should be loving, predictable, and happy. It should not be a roller coaster ride of emotional highs and lows. While the rest of the world might bring you down, your partner should be the one who builds you up. Please find someone who does this for you. And don't settle for anything less.

*very serious game of Snakes & Ladders with your Papa

And you know what else your Papa told me? He said, if you are in a relationship with a good man "You need to wake up every morning and look at your partner and tell yourself that you love him and want to be with him...because whatever you say and believe will be true". If you continually wake up thinking negative thoughts about your spouse, the relationship will never move past the negativity. So be positive and let go of the petty, negative thoughts that could ultimately destroy the two of you.

Oh, and the "fireworks" that people talk about? I wouldn't let a good guy go just because those fireworks aren't happening right away. It's important to be picky--it certainly is. But it's also important that you don't disregard a man simply because there is no spark right away. Sometimes the best relationships grow slowly and steadily...and the sparks come later. There are so many good guys out there--so if you find one, don't just throw it away simply because this Hollywood idea of sparks flying and fireworks going off isn't happening on the first date or two. You could be missing out on the best relationship of your life.

But please, just please...before you get married, ask yourself "Would I start dating this man, just as he is today?", because sometimes we're still in love with the idea of who that person used to be. The man who wooed us and swept us off of our feet when we first started dating. The man who treated us with kindness and love all of those years ago. But today--knowing what you know about who he is today and how he is treating you right now, would you start dating him? Never stay if your answer is no.

And ultimately, please remember that you have to work on relationships. You have to sweep him off of his feet as much as he sweeps you off of yours. You need to tell him how much you love him, how much you admire him and how much you appreciate him--and he needs to do the same for you. Both of you need to say "thank you" to each other as often as you can, and don't go a day without saying "I love you". Nothing will ever be perfect, but if you can find a man who respects you, admires you and loves you then I have no doubt that our fears of your heart being shattered will subside.

But for now, enjoy your four year old life. Enjoy the care-free freedom that your childhood brings. Enjoy the free cookies from the Cookie Club at the grocery store that make you so darn happy. Enjoy the tickle fights with your brother that make you laugh until you just can't take it anymore. Enjoy the feeling of snowflakes falling on your tongue that you love so much and bedtime stories with mom, dad and your brother. I'll save this letter for you for when it feels right to give it to you. And I'll write one for your brother too.

But until then, please just know how much you and your brother are loved. That's really all that matters right now.

your mom xox




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