I Wish…….A Letter to my Children


I wish I could protect you from all of the harshness in the world.

I wish you would believe me when I say those mean girls are just jealous. I can’t say of what, because I do not know, but over the years I have learned. They are insecure, it is not you. And those kids. The ones that think they are so cool. They will face the same difficulties in life. They think they are immune, but they are not. Life does not discriminate.

I wish you could know the dangers of the Internet, and that it is much less important than face-to-face relationships. Those people online will not be there for you when you need someone the most. Your family, your siblings, your friends. They will be. I hope you never take them for granted.

I wish I could protect you from people who don’t understand you. Your quirkiness, your humor, your eccentricities. People who don’t know how smart you are. You are planning great things in your head. They will never know, because you will never show them that you care. But you see it all. You don’t miss much.

I wish you would believe me when I say not too worry how much money you will make in life, but to do what you love. We only have one life. Make the best of it. Dream big. Don’t let fear deter you. Travel. Discover the world around you. Never stop learning.

I hope you treat people, no matter who they are, with love and respect. Be polite. Be generous. Pay it forward. But if someone treats you badly, move on. Life is too short.

I wish you would believe me when I say that being on time is important. It shows you care, you are responsible, and reliable. It stresses me because it doesn’t reflect the awesome person that you are. I know eventually you are going to learn a life lesson as a result of this. It will make you sad, or mad, or hurt, and that breaks my heart. I wish that didn’t have to happen, but it will. It’s part of growing up.

I wish I could be there when that teacher that was so cruel, the one that didn’t like you because so many teachers did, has a moment when he gets it. When he realizes how wrong it was. I hope it doesn’t happen to his child though. I hope his wife, the other teacher who treated you badly, realizes it too. I hope it tears at her heart a little, or a lot. I hope that she never does it to another child.

I hope you realize that no matter what your body looks like, you are absolutely perfect. Short, tall, skinny, or fluffy. That your grades are important, but not as important as you as a person. All “A’s” doesn’t make you better, “B’s” are okay too, and even an occasional “C.” What matters is the effort you put into it. That you are a smart, funny, caring person. You have so much value. You make the world a better place.

I hope you know that I love you with every part of my being. That when I get angry, yell, or punish you, it is because it is my job to help you become the best person you can be. I will always be there for you. I will be your advocate, your protector, your shield. Every now and then, I’ll have to let that shield drop a bit. Not enough to damage, but it may hurt a little. It will break my heart, but you have to learn to stand on your own two feet. The world is a harsh place, but I am your mother. I will always be there for you.

In the Beginning……

I grew up in a middle class family in Michigan. My parents are still married, and I have an older brother, and an older sister. When we were growing up, we always had what we needed, but not always what we wanted. We had the necessities plus a little extra though. Food, clothing, a beautiful home and the love of our parents. We usually took a summer trip to the east coast, and occasionally a trip to a new destination. We were a vocal family. Feelings were always known. By everyone. We muddled through life, doing what we had to do….school, work, chores, etc. We were well cared for. We didn’t get designer clothes, the trendy jeans, or latest styles. We didn’t always get to do the sports or after school activities we wanted to due to costs or transportation difficulties, but we did get to do some. We were a family that was comfortable in our little box. We didn’t venture out often, or at least not too far.

I met my husband when I was working at a movie theater at the age of 16. We were both from the same high school, but I didn’t know him then. I shared a locker with his sister in 7th grade, he graduated high school in the same year and from the same school as my brother and brother-in-law, and his father was our mailman for the first nine years of my life, but I didn’t know him. We got married when I was three months shy of 21, and he was 23. We were very young, even for 1990. He was in the Navy, and I was in college. We were stationed in Charleston, South Carolina. We continued to plug along in life, at a new, young couple level. Noticeably, leaner than I had been when living with my parents. No money for a honeymoon, sharing a car, and living in a tiny apartment. Our couch was a daybed, our side table a mini fridge, our coffee table a hope chest. Our bed was a mattress on the floor, with a milk crate bedside table.

When my husband got his honorable discharge from the Navy, we moved back to Michigan, and he started college, while I finished. After my graduation, I worked full time while he went to school, and worked a co-op job. He had three months of school, three months of work for five years.. We lived with his grandfather for 2 years, and then moved to a slightly larger apartment than the first. We moved up to real furniture. In the proper rooms. Four months before he finished his degree we had our first child, a year and a half later, we bought our first house. We said we would be there five years. We are still in that house today, almost 18 years later, but not because we have to be. Sometimes, bigger and better is not what is important…….