Today is my daughters 10th Birthday! How is that even possible. How did I do it, how did we do it, I can’t believe I’ve been a mother for an entire decade! Every time a milestone has occurred since Jason passed I’ve thought about what it would be like if he were here. What would be the same what would be different? I also think about how I can make these milestones different and keep them the same. I spent a many hours not too long ago going through old memory boxes. Boxes with pictures, cards, little nick nacks and memories. You know how many cards I found from Jason to his kids? One, one card to Ellie when she was one! That’s the only hand written card or note she will have from her father and Tripp won’t even have that. I write this not to fault Jason. I always thought of cards as a waste of money, and now what I would pay to have more cards for both of my children. For them to be able to read how their dad loved them. For them to be able to see his handwriting and the goofy pictures he would doodle. I should have done a better job saving things and encouraging cards, but it never once occurred to me he wouldn’t be here to write to them another time.
All of this got me thinking what can I do for my kids that he couldn’t so they will have those memories of me when I am gone. I decided to make a short list of the things I wish I had from him or at the same time the things I want my kids to have from me.
I have gone through all our videos, and I have none just of Jason. None of him talking, telling jokes, telling stories, telling his kids how much he loves them. What I would give to have just one video from him that the kids and I could watch and have to hold onto forever. So the other day I just sat down with my phone and recorded a short message to each of my kids letting them know how much I love them, and how special they are to me. I hope to maybe make the a yearly thing so they will always have those to look back on. In this digital world it’s such an easy gift to leave them.
I want to buy them cards for all the big occasions and write letters inside them. Telling them how wonderful they are, how I am amazed by them every day, and how lucky I am to be their mother.
This I already do pretty well, but again in this digital age there is no reason for there not to be tons of pictures. Pictures of me, pictures of them, pictures of us together, professional pictures, candid pictures, all the pictures we can have. That way they can always look back on all the amazing memories we have made together.
4. A will
Jason did not have a will, and we never really discussed his wishes. I can only hope I did what he wanted, and that he would be happy with the choices I made. I don’t want my kids to have to think about any of those decisions I want everything to be as easy as possible on them, and whoever else has to help in the time of my passing (hopefully this won’t be an issue for a very very long time).
It would be fun to go ahead and set aside a gift for a wedding, or baby shower, or milestone birthday in case someday I miss those things. Something so they will always be reminded of how much I love them.
Somewhere I need to stash away all my usernames and passwords for them so if something happens unexpectedly they can find anything and everything they may need. That way they have access to my cloud and all those videos and pictures.
I always want to make sure we make life about making memories. I want them to treasure their memories with me and their dad above all else. The experiences we’ve shared, the laughter, the tears, the fun, the adventure. I want this to be their greatest gift.
I want to make sure I teach them the necessary skills to get through life. I want Ellie to be able to do all the things a man can do from taking out the trash to changing a tire. I want Tripp to be able to do all the things a woman can do from cooking dinner to being compassionate and loving. I don’t want them to only know gender roles. I want them to know it all, and have all the skills to be as well rounded as possible. I have learned so much these past 15 months. I have changed a tire, taken out the trash, fixed the washing machine, taken care of the lawn, climbed super tall ladders, changed a door knob and lock. So many things I would have never learned or tried that I was sort of forced into doing. Either that or I would have had to pay someone else to do it. Above all else I want my kids to be self sufficient, and always able to take care of them selves and know it’s ok to be alone, and not have to rely on anyone else.
9. My meaning of Life
To me the meaning of life is to form relationships. Relationships of all kinds. I want my kids to choose their friends wisely and love them deeply. I want them to trust they can call on those they love, and be the person their friends call on. I want them to find love and a partner that’s perfect for them. I don’t want them to settle just cause it seems like it’s the thing to do. I want them to be selective. I want them to always tell people how important they are and how much they cherish those in their lives. I also want them to understand that relationships don’t always last forever. Some will, but some may only be around for a season and that’s ok too. Each person is placed in your life for a reason and weather they are there for a short time or the whole time or anywhere in between each relationship is important.
10. Lead by example
I hope to lead them by becoming what I want to see in them. I want them to see me putting others before myself, but also taking the time to care for myself. I want them to see me vulnerable and brave all at the same time. I want them to see me love my friends, family, and partner. I want them to see me make mistakes and stumble then watch me dust myself off and try again. I want them to see me win and lose and be happy with both outcomes. I want them to see me always wanting to be better, learn more, and try harder. I want them to know they have given me so much and that I always want to give back to them.