Saturday, March 19, 2016

Old Dogs, New Tricks

Dearest Daughter,

At the moment you are shut up in your room, texting your friends. I've been clearing out some of your old toys that  you said you no longer wanted, and those two things together usually put me in a sad frame of mind.

I sometime miss the child you used to be, the games we used to play together, and the closeness we used to share. And I sometimes used to write blog entries about how sad it all was. (I didn't post them, as they were too driify with self-pity even for me - but I wrote plenty of them).

Because it is a hard thing to be outgrown. Your brain knows that it has to be, and that it's a good thing. But your heart says otherwise.

And then I found a comment posted online that snapped me back into focus. It was so exactly what I needed to hear, exactly when I needed to hear it, that I kept it. And I take it out and reread it often, to make sure that I remember:

"I am 63 years old, my "babies" are 40 and 38. Here's is what I know. You are in the early stages of what is to come. My advice is to give a hug whenever possible, every day, even when your child makes it clear they think they are too big for a hug. Treasure each and every moment, each and every stage of growth. Do not be sad about what it "used to be like", instead embrace all the new little things about every "new normal" that is now and yet to come. Listen. then, Listen some more. Children don't always want your guidance or your advice, they just want to tell you things. The more you listen, the less you talk, the more they want to tell you. Show up at everything they are doing as often as your schedule will let you, even when they say you don't have to be there, even if they say they don't "need" you there. They will always notice that you are there, even if you are just standing quietly, unobtrusivley in the background, giving them a smile and a wave. The fact that you are always there to see them during the events that are important to them, will remain in their memories long after the event you are attending with them is forgotten. Show them your emotions. Tell them how important they are to you. Tell them how it warms your heart when they smile at you. Take photos, lots of photos. Photos are important to you now, photos become important to them later. ~ Pj Jackson"

I love you. I hope that future you will be able to look back and say that I learned from Mr. Jackson, and that I got it right.

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