Letter from my future self

Dear Nicole,

As I sit here writing this letter to you, I am alone in a quiet house with my hot morning coffee while I contemplate my past and recall many tender memories.  I laugh while writing this because I remember how badly you wanted a calm house in those early mornings so you could drink your coffee and get your bearings before the chaos of the morning routines started.  And now, just as everyone would warn you about, you miss those days.  They were all right.  And while I appreciate these moments of peace, I miss the early wake ups and the hustle and bustle of trying to prepare for the school day.  Breakfast was always rushed, and being late for the bus was unacceptable, so the routines were always in place, but I now miss the commotion.  Now your days start with a stretch and a glance at your phone, looking for a message from one of your grown children to hopefully say, “Good morning, Mommy,” hoping they still think of you since you no longer get to lift them out of bed with a morning hug and a quick snuggle.

Let me also tell you that your kids are doing just fine.  All those years of worrying and stressing about how your kids will be, if they will make good choices, if they will be kind, if they will be successful, if they will be happy…you guided them well.  Your constant reminders on how to be good to others, to help when you can, to smile often and be positive, well, they were really listening.  Even though at the time, they sometimes would huff and puff when you reminded them for the 20th time, they were taking it in.  They are good people.  They are loving and warm and they always try to be the helpers in this world.  You did a good job, Mama.

As for you, you are only 41 while reading this and you have so many questions about yourself.  I know you’re wondering where life will take you, as you’re constantly still learning about yourself, even reinventing who you are.  You miss your younger self, your freedom and your creativity, but I promise you, you will find her again.  You will have more time to grow and learn, and to check all the things you want to do off your list.  Just be patient.   Trust in yourself and take it all one day at a time.

Some days have been hard, while some have been so exciting.  Don’t put so much pressure on each day, and enjoy the small moments.  That is where you’ll find your joy. You’ll find it when Tristan tells you that he missed you while he was sleeping or when Johnny writes a poem about you in Kindergarten, or when Reagan asks to spend time with you even though she sometimes gets embarrassed by you.  I am here to tell you it’s the age and not to take it personally.

I know you’re doing the best you can and your kids do see it.  They’ll try to get the best of you, but they love you deeply.  Try to let them do things independently, even if it means that Johnny will put his shoes on the wrong feet yet again.  I can assure you as a grown man, he is not making that mistake anymore.  They all figure it out.

As for Tristan, well, he’s still a wild man, but he loves fiercely and still loves to hug and kiss you.  And you would be so proud of Reagan.  She’s the sweetest soul and a solid refuge for many of the people she meets along her journey.  But, I don’t want to give too much away…

Just remember, you’re doing a great job, Mama, and it doesn’t go unnoticed even though you may feel that way.  One day you will miss all this craziness, so keep your head up, breathe, and smile, because whatever life throws at you, you will handle it with grace.  And the best part is that you will have your family by your side the entire way.



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