As your seventh birthday approached, I thought a lot about this letter and the ways in which you have grown over the last year. I had so much to say, but I could not find the words to capture your essence on paper.
So, I wrote nothing.
Then, it came to me. Rather than tell you why I love you so dearly, I would take this chance to impart my knowledge on you. Seven lessons for seven years.
|Dizzle, one week old|
|Dizzle, on her seventh birthday|
Lesson #1 - Be Strong, but Flexible
Dizzle, you are a natural born leader, but you must learn to lead with wisdom. Overpowering others and having strength are not the same thing. You must think before you react and you must weigh the options before you decide. My child, be strong in your beliefs, but do not forget to show flexibility. Sometimes, the greatest strength comes in showing that you have weaknesses.
Lesson #2 - Think Twice, Speak Once
Dizzle, like most people your age, you are quick to react and often speak before realizing what is coming out of your mouth. Try your best to stop this behavior now. Quick thoughts and fast words will only come back to bite you. A thoughtful presentation and timely delivery of your words will have a much more lasting impact. Remember to think twice and then speak once to avoid putting your foot in your mouth and yourself into time-out.
Lesson #3 - Listen to Your Voice
Dizzle, it's easy to get sucked into trying to be what everyone else wants you to be. Your friends, your teachers, your parents and the entire world around you will try to tell you what you "should be". Hear and consider what they are saying, but don't let everyone else's opinions be your guiding force. In the end, the only voice that really matters is your own. Listen to it. Trust it. It will guide you to exactly where you are supposed to be.
Lesson #4 - Fight the Battles that Matter
Dizzle, sometimes we get caught up in what seems important right now, in this very instant. When that happens, we often forget to look at the big picture. We don't take into account that what seems huge right now, may make no impact down the line. You do this everyday. When I tell you no and you throw a fit, you are often making a mountain out of a mole hill. Try your best to find perspective. Don't sweat the small stuff and only fight the battles that matter. You'll be a whole lot happier for it.
Lesson #5 - Believe
Dizzle, do you know why people fail? Because they don't believe that they can succeed. I believe in you. And you should to. Believe in your strength. Believe in your beauty. Believe in your talent. Believe in your entire being. If you do that, you will be the best you possible.
Lesson #6 - Value People, not Things
Dizzle, although you may not think so now, the things in your life don't matter. They are just things. Things that can be replaced. Things that take up space. Where the true value lies is in the people who fill your days, the interactions that you share and the memories that you make. We only have so much time together, do your best everyday to value the people around you. Put all of your "things" aside and take stock in how lucky you are to be surrounded by people who love and support you. Not everyone is so fortunate.
Lesson #7 - Love With All You Have
Dizzle, some people believe that putting up walls is a great way to protect yourself from getting hurt. Maybe, it's true. Walls are a great form of protection, but they also keep you from experiencing life to the fullest. My advice to you: Don't build the walls in the first place. Love with all that you have and let the people you love know it. Every single day. You will never be hurt by giving love. Love conquers all.
Dizzle, you are an amazing person and I am honored to be your mother. I know that as you grow we will hit our share of bumps in the road, but remember that no matter how angry we get at each other, my love for you is endless and there is nothing that will ever change that.
Happy 7th birthday, my love.